Unforgettable day in Fuchu – Day 1 Recap


Unforgettable day in Fuchu - Day 1 Recap

Author: Baseball Australia Media/Tuesday, 27 February 2018/Categories: News, Events, Southern Thunder

A welcoming party of approximately 50 Meiji University students were on hand to greet the team as they entered the excellent facility.

The session began with a stirring address from former MLBer and 14-year Team Australia veteran Luke Hughes, who spoke about the importance of representing your country on the world stage.

“That one dream of playing in the Olympics is in the back of my mind, it’s still a massive goal of mine. It means a lot whenever you get the chance to put the green and gold on. You’re going to feel that pressure, but we’re one as a team and we’re here to help one and other.”

Speaking to the Team Australia debutants, Hughes highlighted how special this particular club is.

“A lot of guys have moved on, but it’s time to make this your team. It’s your time to take over and make this trip a memorable one.”

From practice, the boys then moved on to Sumiyoshi Elementary School, where players and staff alike were blown away by the show of support and amount of effort the children displayed.

Speaking about his experience at the school, Blue Sox star and Twins prospect Todd Van Steensel was floored by the amount of work the kids had showed.

“I thought it was going to be a standard little meet and greet, but it was so much more than that.

“Seeing the effort the kids put it was really humbling. It was clear they hadn’t just thought about what they were going to do yesterday, it was fantastic to see them put in so much for a group of baseball players from Australia.”

Unforgettable day in Fuchu - Day 1 RecapSumiyoshi Elementary School Blackboard Art

The team were unsurprisingly upbeat after what was a memorable school visit, and that mood continued as they strolled through downtown Fuchu, ending up at City Hall, where they were privately addressed by Mr. Norio Takano, Mayor of Fuchu City.

In his address, Mr. Takano was excited to host Team Australia with Fuchu City hoping to attract more national teams to their region.

“It is our pleasure to host Team Australia’s training camp and to welcome players, coaches and staff here in Fuchu City.” 

“We also expect that this camp will lead to exchanges in a variety of fields such as sports, culture and economy between Fuchu City and Australia.”

Unforgettable day in Fuchu - Day 1 RecapHead of Australian Delegation, Mr. Glenn Williams addresses Mr. Norio Takano, Mayor of Fuchu City.

After Mr. Takano’s address, he lead the full team delegation to the Ōkunitama Shrine, which was built over 1900 years ago in 111 AD. 

The team were honoured with a traditional prayer ceremony in the shrine, and also visited some of the shrine’s museum, where the team was shown the biggest drum in Japan made from a single piece of wood.

Unforgettable day in Fuchu - Day 1 RecapThe biggest drum in Japan, made from one tree trunk. Located at the Ōkunitama Shrine in Fuchu City.

 Team Australia’s final event of the day came at the official Welcome Reception, an event which gave players the chance to mingle with members of the local Fuchu community, as well as watch (and participate in) a number of traditional Japanese activities.

At the conclusion of the Welcome Reception, it had dawned on the team that this was more than a baseball trip.

The Fuchu City community has welcomed these 28 Australian baseball players with open arms. Their generosity and support is evident in each activity, and there is no doubt that Fuchu City is the Japanese home of Australian baseball.