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Essays from Participants


Essays from Participants

Some parts of the essays are omitted due to the limited space.

"Had a wonderful time in WCBF Fukushima"

Female, Age 10, From Kanagawa prefecture [ID No.5732]

There are two things I enjoyed the most during the fair.  
First, the baseball clinics.  Baseball clinics were not only fun but also educational.  I wasn’t very good at pitching, but when I played catch after the fair with my family, I could see the improvements in my pitching. 
Second, interaction with other children from different countries.  When I couldn’t communicate with words, I’ve tried my best to communicate, for instance, using gestures.  Moreover, I found that I have received an email from Holland.  She saw my email address from my card which I gave her and she emailed to me.  It was difficult to send email in English, but I was very happy to hear from her.

"Summer of 11, my best memory"

Male, Age 11, From Fukushima prefecture [ID No.5758]

When I found out I was going to take part in WCBF Fukushima, I was very excited about learning baseball and meeting other children from all over Japan and the world. 
It was very hot every day in Fukushima during the fair however, practicing baseball with new bats and gloves with new friends was so much fun.  Especially, I could practice banting and sliding every day.  All the coaches and staffs were complimenting us a lot, that made me happy and keep at it some more.
I enjoyed not only baseball but peach picking, which I’ve never done before and Waraji-festival. 
Nine days went by so quickly.  At the farewell party, I thought “Oh it’s over already.” When we were leaving, I was very sad.  I will never forget this summer.  I will also keep doing my best at playing baseball.  Now my dream is to become a baseball player and see all my friends who participated in the 29 th WCBF Fukushima. 
Thank you so much for the best summer ever!!

"The bonds with everyone"

Male, Age 11, From Iwate prefecture [ID No.5772]

Most memorable memory from WCBF Fukushima is the interaction with children from other prefectures and all over the world.  At the beginning of the fair, I was worried about staying in the same room and playing baseball with children I don’t know.  But people in the same group and people who stay in the same room with me warmly welcomed me.  Whenever I have something I don’t understand, they were willing to help me.  I think that was when all my worries disappeared and was able to enjoy the fair.  After that, I was able to talk to everyone.  There are a lot of memories through interacting with foreign children.  Thai children stayed with my group in the same room.  They didn’t speak at all first.  I think they were worried about many things like I was.  So, I treated and helped them like other people did for me. They gradually started talking to us.  Hard to understand each other’s language, but we were able to make bond with each other.  My best memory from the fair is that I was able to make bonds like this to many people.  I was also able to learn how to interact with people.  I was really happy to be able to participate WCBF.

"Unforgettable WCBF"

Female, Age 11, From Chiba prefecture [ID No.5728]

At first, I was worried about playing baseball with boys. I was also worried about making friends with people from all over the world.  However, warm welcome from many people once I arrived Fukushima made me very happy.  Last day, the departure day, all the host staffs and assistant coaches saw us off.  They stayed as our bus was leaving.  I tried not to cry but I couldn’t hold my tears.  I would like to thank Mr. Oh, host staffs who took care of us for 9 days, WBSC coaches who kindly taught us, assistant coaches who were like my real brothers and all the other people who helped to make this fair happen.
I will come back as a host staff when I become a university student.  
Thank you, WCBF!

"The best experience of in my life"

Male, Age 11, From Peru [ID No.5706]

It was the best experience I’ve had in my life because besides visiting Japan, it was like visiting several countries at once. 
I met many kids and made new friends. Everyone who was at the fair was good to me.
I was able to learn baseball techniques like sliding, touching bases the right way, judge and catch fly balls from coaches from different countries.
In those 10 days I learned, practiced, and became more aware of the different cultures.
The food was very delicious. 
What I liked most was that the food was fresh and natural, the fruits, the solar panels and the crops in Japan.
I also liked to attend a festival in the city of Fukushima.
Thank you for letting me visit Japan to learn about its culture.

"I was happy to be able to go to Japan"

Female, Age 11, From Thailand [ID No.5719]

I was very happy that I got selected to go to Japan. I really looked forward to meeting new friends from different countries. I didn’t know that there was as many as 14 different countries that participated in the event. I was very excited. I slept with 11 different girls in my room.  I was very happy that they’ve become my friend. I am very grateful for all the places that we got to see and the new baseball equipment that were given to us. Thank you everyone for the opportunity to go to Japan.

"The meal was delicious"

Male, Age 10, From People’s Republic of China [ID No.5670]

The organizing committee prepared a lot of food for us this time. I like Japanese rice very much, and Japanese water and milk are also very delicious. Every night my teammates and I have to eat an ice cream together, which is very sweet. After the activity, the organizing committee also prepared kimono, the national costume of Japan, and took many handsome and good-looking photos for us.
The most wonderful was the last day of the party, every country's team members on the stage performance, we are the first to perform, a little nervous. The performances of the team members from other countries are particularly wonderful, including singing and dancing, all of which are very ethnic. All the coaches and players had a good night.
Nine days will soon pass. The 29th world children's baseball congress is over. We will wave goodbye to Japan, say goodbye to our friends and go back to our respective countries. I want to thank my coach for giving me this rare opportunity to attend this conference. I also want to thank Japan for organizing such a perfect world conference. I will never forget the wonderful and meaningful activities.
I love baseball and I want to be a good baseball player.

"Time went by too quickly"

Male, Age 10, From Shimane prefecture [ID No.5637]

During the baseball clinic, Mr. Oh coached us how to slide and bat.  It helped me get the hang of them.  I was very nervous at first, but he explained it simply so we can understand.  I was very surprised to find out that some of the children from overseas never played baseball before.  That’s when I thought I was very lucky to be able to learn and play baseball every day.  I would like to see the host staffs who took care of us, WBSC coaches, assistant coaches and friends I made during the fair again.

"Finishing World Children’s Baseball Fair..."

Female, Age 11, From Tokyo [ID No.5600]

I have never played baseball before until the WCBF.  There were so many children who played baseball around me, so at first, I was very worried about playing baseball with them.  However, WBSC coaches were very kind and they made sure all of us understood.  As we practiced over and over, I started to enjoy baseball and see the progress with myself.  I think the strong point of WCBF is to be able to enjoy learning baseball.  All the assistant coaches were also kind and we were able to talk to them like our friends.  Since there weren’t many girls, I think we all became good friends with each other.  Some of us are still exchanging letters.  During the free time, children from different countries came to our room and I think we somehow communicated.  Thanks to WCBF, my baseball skills improved and I was able to make friends with people from around the world whom I usually have no chance to meet.  Thank you very much!!


Male, Age 10, From Shimane prefecture [ID No.5636]

I’ve met people from Tanzania as I participated WCBF.  We always found some time to play catch and high fived to each other.  We were always together even during the bus ride and excursions.  So, I thought we’d be together till the last day, August 9th.  However, that did not come true.  Due to the typhoon, they had to leave early.  There’s nothing we can do to a natural phenomenon, so I promised myself to do a lot of high fives.

"What I learned at WCBF"

Male, Age 10, From Romania [ID No.5574]

I loved to meet people from other countries with whom I could share the passion for baseball and for friendship across borders. I understood that sport, cleanliness and discipline are ingredients that can unite people beyond cultural differences. I learned that I am happy to observe these differences and to enjoy the company of other baseball players. 
I also liked that our Japanese hosts from Matsue welcomed us with open heart and provided us with a mix of activities that allowed us to enjoy the places we visited and, in the same time, to spend wonderful moments with baseball players from other countries.  The time flew imperceptibly and it was only the weather which distressed us with the typhoon that shortened our adventure with one day. 
Domo Arigato, colleagues and coaches from Matsue! I hope to see you again one day.

"First step toward independence"

Male, Age 10, From Fiji [ID No.5538]

It was a great experience for me traveling to a foreign country, eating their food (sushi) and experience their culture. I was chosen to be part of a Japanese Play featuring the Japanese way of catching fish. I enjoyed meeting other children from 13 different countries. I had an experience of being independent, since I am the only child in my family and always rely on my parents for everything. Learned about housekeeping and one thing I have noticed that cleanliness is the main part of the Japanese culture.
During the Baseball Clinics I have managed to upgrade my skills especially on ready position. I was very fortunate to visit some historical sites especially the over 400 years old Japanese Castle. One of my funniest experience is when we went to a Buddhist Temple to meditate and saw one of the Priest holding a long flat wooden stick known as “keisaku” to remedy sleepiness and lack of concentration during the meditation session. So I decided to lose my concentration to test how being smacked by the stick felt. So I moved and then the priest came over to me with the stick and smacked my back four times which nearly drove me into tears for it was painful. We visited the museum which also had an aquarium inside. There were plenty types of fish of all sizes in it and also prawns & turtles.
Thank you, Vinaka vakalevu, Arigatogozaimashita

"I want to become a Chaperone and back to WCBF"

Male, Age 11, From U.S.A. [ID No.5591]

People from all around the world were there, it was really cool but I was too shy to say hi at first but after I got to know them I could say “hi,” freely. The other people from other countries spoke different languages, some of them put up a valiant effort to learn English but most couldn’t speak it. I learned to speak a little Japanese so I could talk to the Japanese kids. It was hard around the language barrier but we managed.  The language barrier slowed me down but I still made new friends because were played baseball together.  It was fun learning about the countries the other kids came from.
The day of the tournament was coming up but a typhoon interrupted our plans.  We needed to get out of there before we got caught in it. I am very sad we missed the final tournament but at least we could all see each other’s skits.  
WCBF was a life changing experience for me and I would like to be a chaperon when I am old enough. I loved it and if I could do it again, I would. It was really fun. 
Thank you for the wonderful opportunity, I will never forget it.  And thank you too for posting all the pictures on Facebook, I am able to look through them and see my new friends and share my experiences with my friends and family back home.

"Best Friends"

Female, Age 11, From Chiba [ID No.5498]

At the beginning of the baseball clinic, I cried because I did not know how to play baseball at all and it was so difficult. But then, a friend from a foreign country came to me and hugged me, saying “it’s alright.” When she hugged me, I felt very relieved and thought hugging can make people happy. I want to do the same when my friends are down.
Because many people at the fair taught me how to play baseball with kindness, I like baseball very much now thanks to them! I also made very close friends at the fair and I feel like I could get over any tough situation in my future if they are there. Friendship is wonderful!

"Treasures of My Life"

Male, Age 11, From Tokyo [ID No.5507]

When I first arrived at the dormitory, I was very nervous. But after all the Assistant Coaches and Host Staff gave us a warm welcome, my nervousness went away and the very fun week started. At the baseball clinic, sliding practice on a wet tarp was so much fun. It felt very nice getting soaking wet and I tried it many times.
Life at the dormitory was very fun too. I enjoyed talking with friends from other countries using body-language. The souvenirs that I exchanged with them, like traditional things from their home country, are treasures I will keep my whole life! I learned lots of things through the 9 days and I am ready to make the most of it to become a good baseball player. I also want to come back to help the WCBF when I grow up. So, I will study English hard to become one of the Host Staff in the future.

"PPAP All Together!"

Male, Age 11, From Gifu [ID No.5518]

My favorite memory of the WCBF was the Goodwill Party. Our group performed PPAP at the talent show and it was the most memorable moment when I tried to get people up on the stage in middle of the performance, almost everyone came up and we all danced together. It was also so much fun to talk to friends from other countries at the dormitory and it’s very good to know that they all have different lifestyles. It was a good experience!
In an exchange event, we rode an amphibious bus called the SKY DUCK. It was my first time riding it and the city view from the bay was very beautiful. I want to try that again.
Entering Yokohama Stadium for the Opening Ceremony was awesome too.
I will never forget everything I learned at the WCBF. Thank you very much for the opportunity.

"Cambodia, First Time in the WCBF (2017)"

Male, Age 11, From Cambodia [ID No.5438]

One day before the fair, our baseball coach told us that 5 children from Cambodia had been invited to the World Children’s Baseball Fair being held in Japan but only those who were 10 or 11 years old would be able to participate. Then, as soon as I found my name on the list, I yelled “Thank you coach!” and swore to myself three things - to learn and practice baseball very hard, to make many friends throughout the world, and to spend a memorable time with them.
Once I arrived in Japan, I was very surprised because it was so clean everywhere I went. I didn’t see much garbage on the streets.
I experienced a lot of things during our stay in Japan. I was especially very happy to be able to enjoy baseball practice so much, make many friends, and eat delicious Japanese food.
Many thanks to Mr. Oh, the organizers, and all the staff members of the WCBF. I will try hard to spread baseball in Cambodia and hopefully it will be more popular in the future.

"The Happy 9 Days"

Female, Age 11, From U.S.A [ID No.5489]

This opportunity was major for me. Meeting all of these new people from all corners of the world, was incredibly empowering. I was so scared, and I was really sad that I was leaving my parents, to go to Japan on my own. But those same tears happened when we were leaving for our flight home. Everyone had grown on each other, and loved each other as if we were extended family. I felt the same way. I remember almost everyone in the dormitory, coming out and reaching up to the bus we were in when we were leaving, trying to give a high five or even touch again. I was forever gifted at these moments, meeting and living with all of these people. Everybody was loving and kind. There are not enough words to describe all of this.
WCBF also gave my friends and I, some goodies to remember it by (as if they didn’t give enough already!). WCBF was over generous, but I was very happy, all the time. They got us food, clothing, a place to stay, field trips, multiple parties, extra goodies, transportation, and of course, baseball clinics.
Sadaharu Oh, Akiko Agishi, Hank Asron and many, many others, I am grateful that you chose me, Mikey (my chaperone), and everybody else that was here for WCBF2017. I hope this organization will continue for many more years. I will forever remember my experiences. I can’t say thank you, or arigato gozaimasu, enough.

"I want to Go Back to Yokohama!"

Male, Age 11, From Italy [ID No.5470]

I started playing baseball this year, and the experience in Japan has been something for me that I will never forget. I wanted to last longer. I met nice people, and I learned a lot from all the workouts. The organization was excellent in every respect. It was nice to know kids from other countries, and I really enjoyed going to the stadium and attending the game of a very strong Team. Yokohama is a wonderful city, I hope one day to return. I heartily thank the organizers, the coaches, the accompaniers and all those who care about us because even though we were away from our families, they made us feel a much more family member great. Finally I thank those who chose me and game me this important opportunity.

"Love Japanese Food!"

Male, Age 11, From Chinese Taipei [ID No.5449]

In the 9 days at the fair, I have met many people from other countries. They are all very kind, passionate and easy going. They gave me small souvenir gifts from their country. The food provided at the camp was very tasty. Every time I ate 2 bowls of curry rice. When I came back my mother said that I gained weight while in Japan. I thank the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association for choosing me to participate in this event and also thank Mr. Sadaharu Oh for organizing such a great event and giving me an opportunity to get to know baseball better.

"Our Son Participated in the WCBF"

From France, Parent of a Participant [ID No.5454]

 He came back so happy and proud to show us the DVD you prepared for them and their close family and friends, it was such a good idea the music the videos it’s all perfect to give us an idea of how fantastic and joyful this trip was for them we know it by heart!!!!
He loved all his baseball trainings, improved a lot and felt very motivated to play once back in France!
He met good friends and he will never forget this human sportive adventure for sure!
He was so happy and proud of his brand new gear his baseball bag full of surprises he didn’t want to wear any other T shirts and shorts than yours the ones of WCBF the whole end of summer!!!!! And he keeps the memories fresh into his mind even once back to school thanks to the WCBF Watch he can’t leave!!!!
As parents we wanted to thank you too for all the efforts you made for all the kids you took care of them the way parents dreamt of having their kids being taken care of!
It was hard to know him/ them far away from us but knowing them so happy made it easier...
My son will never forget this exceptional adventure just like all the kids who participated from all countries I suppose so again A BIG THANK YOU for him and all of them you deserve to know they lived just in a big dream for a few days thanks to all of you!

"I want to play baseball again with my friends from the world!"

From Mie, Age 11, Male [ID No.4829]

During the fair, I was in the same group with team Venezuela at the baseball clinics. We practiced together every day. They were all tall, powerful and played very well. I had the most fun at the "Fly-ball station." At first I was not sure about my skills but I caught the ball twice out of three times! Also, I stayed in the same room with Czech kids and we had fun playing with yo-yos for more than one hour. It was sad when we had to say farewell. We cried and took many pictures. I will treasure the T-shirt and the hat with lots of signatures of friends I made at the fair. I wish we can meet and play baseball again when we grow up.

"Baseball connects the world together."

From Nara, Age10, Male [ID No.4873]

I lost one of my teammates by the typhoon Talas last year. When I heard about this fair, I wished I could do something for our team and myself so I decided to apply for it. On the last day of the baseball clinics, we played games all day, and my team was a mixed-team of Japanese and Fijian friends. I was very nervous at first because I was assigned a position that I had never played. Plus, I was not even sure if we could manage "team play," but we all tried very hard cheering and covering each other, and as a result, I felt like the bonds of our team were tightened and we won all the games! We were so excited with a lot of hi-fives. I really felt that we can go beyond the language barrier through baseball and it connects the world all together! I thank you so much for holding the WCBF in Mie, Nara, and Wakayama to cheer up people in those stricken areas. Holding these wonderful memories in my heart, I will try my best to become the best baseball player who leads team Japan in the future.

"Friends of different languages."

From Wakayama, Age10, Female [ID No.4840]

There are two things about participating in the fair that I was glad the most. One is that I had a lot of fun playing baseball. I was very anxious at first if I could follow the other friends at the clinics because I had never played baseball before and I had played catch only a few times. On the very first day of the clinics, my day started kind of tense but the coaches taught me very nicely even when I did not understand or did not do well. Thanks to them, I came to like the practice, day by day. My other favorite thing is that I made friends with many people from different countries. The beginning was exchanging presents. I enjoyed going door to door with Japanese friends exchanging presents and I was very happy when they looked pleased receiving my present. I was so glad that I made many friends even though I did not understand their languages. It was very sad to say good-bye to them on the very last day and I did not want to leave at all. I really enjoyed taking part in the WCBF!!

"Next will be my turn!"

From Nara, Age 10, Male [ID No.4845]

I made a lot of new friends at the baseball fair. I was nervous when I first met new people but it did not take long until my tension went away, as soon as we started talking together. Now, I really feel it was great to be chosen for the fair. Staff members were so nice and I even made friends with foreign people! I think about them every day. Shortly after the fair, I received a DVD of a bunch of pictures and a letter from my host staff. Also, a friend who lives in the same prefecture came to visit me after the fair. I miss them all. I wish I could go back in the time I was there. Every day was awesome and I know the memories will last for a lifetime. I will keep playing baseball and, in the future, I would like to be one of the WCBF staff to teach baseball to children.

"My lifetime memories."

From Chiba, Age11, Male [ID No.4874]

I made friends with many people from the world through the WCBF. We got up early in the morning to play catch, played mini baseball games during spare time, and even talked about our future. We spent important moments together. We played a game at the end of the baseball clinic every day. We could not win for the beginning few days, however, on the last day, I felt like our passion became as one and we won all three games! Then, I thought great teamwork could beat any talented teams. I believe we won the games with our teamwork and smiles. I will cherish the bonds of our friendship we made during the 9 days. Participating in this fair will be my lifetime memories!

"I really enjoyed this Fair."

From India, Age 10, Male [ID No.4771]

Konnichi wa!
I really enjoyed my visit to Japan—it was even better than I had imagined! I liked staying at the Youth Center and I liked the staff there too. I loved the techniques of teaching baseball of the IBAF coaches. It was amazing to see how we were welcomed by the hosts and they saw us off. I know that Japanese people are very kind and I am grateful for the opportunity that you have provided to so many children like me to visit your beautiful country. I hope many of you will visit our country too and meet me when you do! Arigato gozaimasu!

"My memorable baseball experience in Japan."

From New Zealand, Age11, Male [ID No.4782]

Thank you for that fun and memorable baseball experience. I had the most fun I have ever had. The games after the training felt like a reward. The best thing on the trip was the beach day. I liked the yellow watermelon because it was just like the normal watermelon except a different color. The food there was amazing I especially liked the bento box. I made new friends and had heaps of fun. Someday I would like to come back and help the WCBF train the future children. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to come to Japan and learn more baseball skills.

"I really like Japan."

From Cote d'Ivoire, Age 10, Male [ID No.4747]

I really liked the way we were welcomed and the way you are playing baseball. My favorite clinic was the pitching one. And I like the way you are eating with chopstick.
"Arigato gozaimas"

Letters from Previous WCBF Participants

Letters from Previous WCBF Participants

Bram Grooten [ID No.3814: Netherlands]

Konichiwa WCBF-friends,
In 2006 I participated at the World Children's Baseball Fair in Sapporo, Japan. It was an awesome experience! I really liked the clinics and the little games with kids from all over the world. Also the food was really nice. With the four boys and one girl from the Netherlands, we had our own Japanese mentor/assistant/supporter: Yuki Ota. He was so kind! I still have contact with him on facebook. Also with other kids around the world, we email sometimes. The trip to the robot museum is also something I didn't forget. It was really cool, they even had a robot fish! And we made some more great trips, to the Sapporo Dome for example.

I am 17 years old now and I still play baseball of course. I'm in the fifth class at a high school in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. School's going great, and so is baseball. When I was 15 I played at the European Championship for age under 16. We finished in 3rd place. Today I was watching the Netherlands at the WBC (World Baseball Classic). They played very well, and I hope to play at the WBC myself when I'm older.

It would be really nice if the WCBF was organized in the Netherlands once in a while. I would really like to help organize the Fair, or give clinics, or be a mentor for a group. But that would be when I'm a little bit older probably.

Because I'm almost finished with my high school in the Netherlands (one year to go), I'm searching for colleges in America. My plan is to go there and follow a decent study and of course play a whole lot of baseball! After that, I want to get to the next level... the fun of baseball will always live!
Bram Grooten
March 2013

Louis Gillet [ID No.2805: Belgium]

WCBF, this amazing gathering of young people from all over the world. I remember when my baseball club "Brussels Kangaroos" came and asked me, "Louis, do you want to try taking part of a international adventure in Japan ?" But did you just say ... Japan ?! At that time, I only was 11 years old. I had never been so far away from my country, Belgium. And afterwards came this national competition that needed to select 5 young lucky buddies in order to launch them into the WCBF experience. I'm so grateful that I've had this privilege. This was an unbelievable opportunity to meet new people accross the world. But not only teenagers, adults as well. We did so much activities, it was a deep cultural exchange. Learning new habits, food, manners, music, dances, cultural heritage from this beautiful country that is Japan. This event was so well organized, we were an enormous community. I gained maturity and became more open-minded. Today this baseball fair reminds me how lucky I am having took part of the WCBF 2001 edition. Today, I keep in touch with a very nice person called Kampei who is a Japanese coach that I met in Kanazawa. He said we would see again, later. Firstly, I didm't believed him. But actually, we did. Many years later, he did knock on my door in Brussels and we spent an afternoon reminding all those good memories. Those moments are the most valuable. Now, at the age of 23, I'm finishing my studies in Marketing. I am not playing baseball in a club any longer but maybe later I'll join one as I miss this sport. I spend most of my time playing music that is my passion. If this essay let me the opportunity to write down many great memories, I would like to use it in order to thank all the WCBF's organizers that are giving so much time and energy for young generations. Mixing sport and culture is very inspirational and make us living in a better world. Thank You WCBF !

Louis Gillet
Nov. 2013