LIU Brooklyn Hosts Japanese and Brooklyn Youth Baseball Exchange
Tsunami and Superstorm Sandy Survivors Will ‘Play Ball’ In Celebration of New Beginnings
Sarah DeCamp,Associate Director of Public Relations
Brooklyn, NY (July 22, 2014) - A delegation of approximately 100 Japanese youths who endured Japan’s 2012 tsunami and earthquake are set to celebrate friendship, sportsmanship, and survival playing baseball on Friday with Brooklyn children who experienced Hurricane Sandy. The teams will participate in the Inaugural Brooklyn-Japan Baseball Exchange Program, with the Japanese visitors getting an official New York welcome from LIU Brooklyn as guests of the campus, home of the NCAA Division I Blackbirds.
The program, officially tagged “Japan’s Tsunami Kids and Brooklyn’s Hurricane Sandy Kids Play Ball,” is set for Wednesday, July 23 through Sunday, July 27 at the LIU Brooklyn campus, 1 University Plaza, Brooklyn, NY, and Brooklyn Cyclones Stadium, Coney Island.
Organizers General Manager of the Brooklyn-Japan Baseball Program Yohei Suzuki, Uniworld Group, Chairman Emeritus and former LIU Trustee Byron Lewis Sr. ’53 and Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame member Kenichi Yazawa, are hoping the initiative becomes an annual event, inspiring the young athletes to embrace friendship, wellness, and exercise as they grow into becoming tomorrow’s leaders.
“LIU Brooklyn is proud and honored to be the official headquarters for this groundbreaking Japan-Brooklyn youth baseball program,” said Dr. Kimberly R. Cline, president of Long Island University. “We admire their spirit and resilience as survivors of life-changing disasters, a tsunami and earthquake, and Hurricane Sandy. But, today, even more so, we applaud them as young athletes and ambassadors of friendship and sportsmanship."
The visiting ballplayers and their chaperones will also have the opportunity to tour museums, historic sites, Coney Island and New York area beaches. One highlight will be a Friday visit to Yankee Stadium to watch the Yanks, a program sponsor, face off with the Toronto Blue Jays. The kids will also attend a Cyclones game, a cultural exchange presentation at LIU Brooklyn’s Kumble Theater, and a baseball clinic at MCU Stadium, after which the Japanese and Brooklyn players will face each other on the diamond.
Activities kick off with a press conference beginning 10:30 am, Thursday, July 24 at Brooklyn Boro Hall. Addressing players and guests will be Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams; LIU President Dr. Kimberly R. Cline; Brooklyn Cyclones Assistant General Manager, Gary Perone; Mr. Yazawa, and Jun Ishihara, Attaché Consul General of Japan in New York.
In March 2011, Japan’s Tohoku Region was struck by tsunami and earthquake disasters resulting in a confirmed 15,883 deaths, 6,145 injured and 2,671 missing persons. In November 2012 Brooklyn was among the many New York City communities severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
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