ASHINAGA UGANDA

Education For the Future

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ABC Match!

      2015/03/01

Ashinaga Baseball Club (ABC) is the official baseball team of Ashinaga Uganda. The members are students who are registered as HIV/AIDS orphans. Since 2009, ABC has held regular games with other teams. Although it is small-scale, ABC has been steadily getting baseball fans. In June 2014, Mr. Yasuaki Abe became the new coach. He was a renowned ‘Koshien pitcher ‘ in his high school in Japan. After graduating from university, he  moved to Uganda as a volunteer staff of JICA  to teach baseball to Ugandan kids. He changed the practice regime, and he also started recruiting members from Terakoya pupils, who had not been able to join the team until then. Currently, the number of members are about 30, from 9 to 21 years old, including Terakoya pupils. We had a game on October 19th against a team consisting of Japanese students and staff. Playing against them, ABC collected baseball veterans to be on the first team for this game. Among them, there was a national baseball player. When the Japanese players saw the members of ABC, they were about to lose their motivation because some of their Japanese team were amateurs.  Soon after the game started, the game had to be stopped because of rain. However, when it started drizzling, pupils and adults rushed out the ground to resume the game. Some amateurs even tried to take a full swing, and all players, not only Japanese but also Ugandans, cheered them up. Little players were able get their turn in this game as well. At halftime, senior players passed their baton to the little players.  Terakoya players went to the field with a nervous face. Seniors who seemed worried helped their juniors by teaching them the correct form on the ground. The game was serious, but full of warm smiles. One of those players, Kateregga Ivan (10) is an renowned player among  Terakoya players. He first started after being invited by friend. Since joining ABC, he has become a big fan of baseball. Even in the break time, he always practices alone. His passionate efforts are supported by the feeling of joy for playing baseball. “I enjoy playing baseball so much. For me, it’s not so hard to practice to play the game. I want to be a better. I need to practice more.” His face, though covered with soil, was shining brightly after the game. When the game was over, players bowed and praised fellow players by shaking their hands, which was started very naturally. Through playing baseball, players can learn to enjoy sports and the importance of manners and cooperation. By the way, the result was 3 to 1 to the Japanese team, so they somehow managed to upheld the dignity of the land of baseball.

looser, winner, shaking hands each other after the game

Ivan, future ace pitcher.

 - Ashinaga Baseball Club

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