Fukushima, Japan, September 5, 2019: The World Baseball Softball Confederation has announced a partnership with schools in Fukushima, Japan, to collect baseball and softball equipment and deliver it to developing baseball-softball nations worldwide.
In the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, the WBSC initiated a programme to help support the recovery of the Fukushima Prefecture through sport, donating baseball-softball equipment and helping to repair and upgrade local sports facilities.
Touched by the support of the global baseball-softball community, students and teachers have started working with the WBSC to collect excess baseball-softball equipment and donate it to programmes in Africa, Asia and Europe.
The WBSC is sending balls, bats, cleats, uniforms, caps and gloves collected at schools in Fukushima to countries working to grow baseball-softball, including Kenya, Zambia, Palestine and Kosovo. As well as delivering equipment, the WBSC will also be hosting clinics in those countries for young players, coaches and administrators to help support the sustainable growth of the game.
WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said: “The global baseball-softball community is a worldwide family that is growing all the time.
“The young people of Fukushima have shown incredible resilience and community spirit in the face of unimaginable adversity; now their enthusiasm for helping others in need is an inspiration to us all.
“The WBSC’s new initiative with Fukushima schools lays the groundwork for life-changing opportunities for boys and girls to enjoy sport.
“We are humbled and honoured that our sport will be making its Tokyo 2020 Olympic comeback in a city that embodies more than any other sport’s power to unite and rebuild communities.”
The project coincided with the UN International Youth Day on August 12.