Chestnuts farm was converted to a baseball playground

By Kikki - Last updated: 火曜日, 10月 18, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

[From Ohfunato City-my stricken home town]

– East Japan Great Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster-



In most stricken towns and cities, many school playgrounds and parks have been used as the sites of temporary houses for victim families, so children have no place for their activities.

A farmer in Ohfunato city provided his chestnuts farm for baseball ground. It is prepared for local boys’ baseball team, which is equipped with net fence and lighting supported by foreign contributions. The baseball team could finish second on October 9 at the rookies’ baseball tournament in Tohoku district. It is a baseball team named ‘Massaki Junior Baseball Sports Club’ under the Japan Junior Sports Club Association (JJSA) organized by 31 children from Massaki Elementary School.

The Japan Junior Sports Clubs Association (JJSA) is the Japan’s largest youth sports group that was founded in 1962 by the Japan Sports Association (JASA). It was organized with the hope of “even just one more youth experiencing the joy of sports” and “an organization in society in which youth can cultivate their hearts, minds, and bodies through sports.” About 210,000 leaders and 880,000 members who love sports are registered in the Japan Junior Sports Club Association.

Although, after the disaster, they restarted training in the end of March, meanwhile construction of temporary houses was begun on their playground, and they were forced to stop training. The manager and other people concerned tried finding other substitute playground in their town but no possible one was found.

Mr. Katsutoshi Suzuki (71) offered his farm to the baseball team. His grandson, Keisuke belongs to the baseball team. Nearly 3,300 square meters of his chestnuts farm was flooded by the tsunami, so he decided providing it to local children. Actually, the playground was ready to use in August because the Agricultural Land Act requires complicated procedures for diversion. At the beginning, no lighting had been equipped, so their training was limited in day time. Contributions were sent from USA and France through local members of Rotary Club. Now they can play baseball even at night.

 ‘Now, we have a nice playground here. We would like to make our team stronger through hard training.’ Mr. Keita Sato (12), the captain of the baseball team, said in smile.


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