Bobby Valentine, executive director of Intercollegiate Athletics, and Nick Giaquinto, head baseball coach, recently returned from a 10-day trip to Japan with a group of area 14-year-olds. The excursion provided cultural, baseball experience and community service experiences for the young men, Valentine said.
The group visited the town of Ofunato, a port city that was wiped out by the tsunami of March 11, 2011, in Japan. A local food- and wine-tasting event raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to help restore the town has built a connection between Ofunato and Fairfield County, Connecticut.
Valentine said that while in Japan, the students had a chance to play baseball in a tournament that included Japanese teams and a visiting team from San Diego. They also experienced the Japanese culture and cuisine, and they did volunteer work that included cleaning debris from area beaches and working with local fishermen and scallop hatcheries. “They had a chance to see how the ecosystem is being restored there after the tsunami,” Valentine noted.
Valentine is grateful to the sponsors of the trip—Delta, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Lexco Wealth Management, Greenwich Village Little League and the Kizuna Foundation and JAA non-profit organizations in Japan.
To view additional photos from the trip, click here.