WESTFIELDS SPORTS BASEBALL & CULTURAL TOUR OF JAPAN 2006
Fifteen baseball and five cultural students have just returned from a faboulous 11 day tour of Japan. We were hosted by
three Japanese High Schools, visited Disneyland, Mount Fuji, and several temples and shrines, and even participated in a
Zazen meditation session. The baseball students, aged from 12-15 years played against three schools ans were very
competitive each game.
Firstly, we were invited to participated in a 2 hour training session with our host school Kasukabe Kyoei High School. The
Japanese boys are so well disciplined that they do their warm up without their coach. This lasts about 20 minutes. We took
ground balls, fly balls and the pitchers and catchers did a bull pen. The game was the following day with the Principal
Yaguchi throwing the first pitch. There must have been at least 200 students from the school lining the stands to watch the
game. This school is one of the top 3 baseball schools in all of Japan. The final score was 7-1 to Kasukabe Kyoei however
we left 10 runners on base throughout the game so the score could have been a lot closer.
Great games by Blair Turnbull,Chris Crook, Matthew Beazley. Dylan Ryan and Aaron Wales also provide great support.
Game two was against Musashi Ogase. This is a Senior High School so their youngest player was 16 years old. Our boys made a
strong showing against Musashi as we went down 5-4. Nice games by Jake McKenzie, Matthew Beazley and Corey Barnes.
The final school of the tour was Kyoto Gakuen. Their hospitality was excellent. They allowed us to have a 2 hour training
session with the use of their facilities. Batting cages, bullpens, and pitching machines (curve balls) were provided and
the students were in heaven. The game was held the following day. The boys were really focused and they played a great game.
The scores were level at 2 all until the 5 innings where Kyoto Gakuen broke away to win 9-2. I was proud of the boys with
Dylan Ryan being a stand out of courage. The ball kept following him at 2nd base but he never took a backward step. One
player hit a line drive to Dylan that knocked the glove out of his hand. The next runner ground out to him. Other students
to play well were Jake McKenzie, Jaimie De Ubago, Matthew Beazley. Some great catches were taken by Cory Pringle and Sergio
Bernadini late in the game.
Overall the trip was full of positives. The students got to witness arguably the most disciplined country for sports
education in the world. They train 6 days a week, sometimes 7, and the players very rarely get injured. They respect the
game and all who play it. My boys have learnt a great deal within these two weeks (including myself) and they will continue
to develop their own talents throughout the future.
Posted 11th May 2006