Governor Abercrombie Welcomes Baseball Players from Ehime Prefecture

Governor Neil Abercrombie welcomed players, coaches, and government officials from Ehime Prefecture at Washington Place for the 10thAnniversary of the Ehime-Hawaii Baseball Tournament and Youth Exchange.

“Events can separate us but events – even tragic events – can also bring us together” said Governor Abercrombie in his welcome remarks.  “The Ehime-Hawaii Goodwill Youth Baseball Tournament that started after the tragic events surrounding the sinking of the Ehime Maru off Kakaako in February 2001 has brought the people of Ehime Prefecture and Hawaii together”.

The tournament and exchange is held in Hawaii and Japan on alternating years.  In 2012, Hawaii coaches and players will travel to Ehime, Japan to play a series of games and participate in the home stay.

“This baseball and youth exchange gives the young people from Ehime and Hawaii a chance to experience a different culture as well as compete in the game of baseball” said Mark Anderson, President of the Asia Pacific Exchange and Development, the non-profit organization that organizes the exchange. “This year we have three teams: a 17 and under, a 15 and under, and a 12 and under team.  However, the 17 and under team will play their first game under this exchange next year in Ehime prefecture.”

“We expect some exciting and competitive games from the Ehime Players”, said Benny Agbayani, Director of Baseball for the Tournament and Exchange.

The Ehime-Hawaii Baseball Tournament and Exchange will run from November 17th to the 24.th. Over 100 participants are visiting from Ehime Prefecture consisting of coaches, players, parents and government officials. The tournament and exchange will include a memorial service, a visit to Ewa Makai Middle School, a home-stay visit for the Ehime players, participation in cultural activities, and two days of baseball to be played on Saturday and Sunday at Hans L’Orange Park in Waipahu and Central Oahu Regional Park in Waipio.

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