Many people have had a chance to experience baseball with Japanese and Vietnamese players during the eighth Japan Vietnam Festival in Ho Chi Minh City this weekend.
Amid the premises of the 2023 Japan Vietnam Festival, which is being held at the 23/9 Park in the city’s District 1 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, there are about 80 square meters of interactive baseball activities for all ages.
Visitors can try their hand at pitching, hitting, and catching under instructions from the members of four baseball clubs, namely SaiGon STORM Baseball Club, Hochiminh City Pioneers, Shindo Binh Duong, and Samurai Saigon.
Among the many visitors was 20-year-old Hua Vy Ha, who came to the event with his two friends.
In a Hakama, a type of traditional Japanese clothing, Ha excitedly joined the baseball experience.
“I’m not a baseball fan, but I’m interested in this sport,” Ha said.
“Since I’ve never tried baseball, I want to know what it feels like.”
Despite being successfull in only three out of five hits, Ha affirmed he had a fun experience.
“I still want to try again to see how many shots I can hit,” the young man added.
Baseball is one of the most popular sports in Japan, according to Vu Trung Duc, captain of Hochiminh City Pioneers.
“That’s why the organizers want to introduce this sport to more and more Vietnamese people during this Japan Vietnam Festival,” Duc said.
“We made such a hands-on experience area to attract more visitors to try [baseball].
“Our goal is to let people know that baseball is also played in Vietnam and that it is a fun and attractive sport.”
|Children experience baseball at the eighth Japan Vietnam Festival in Ho Chi Minh City, February 25, 2023. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News|
According to Duc, the instructors at the site only teach participants simple techniques to get familiar with the sport such as how to hold the bat, stand and hit correctly, and how to use hands and hips.
“It usually takes a few months for a person to master the sport, so it’s almost impossible to let them practice everything in just a short session,” Duc said.
“Any enthusiasts are welcomed to contact us and practice at our club,” he added.
“We are pleased to guide you through and show you more about baseball.”
The young captain elaborated that there are both adults and children of small ages in his club’s professional practice environment.
|Hua Vy Ha (red Hakama) tries playing baseball at the eighth Japan Vietnam Festival in Ho Chi Minh City, February 25, 2023. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News|
“For the young segment, we have trainees from seven years old to 17 years old,” Duc said.
“The adult team is from 18 to about 36-37.”
According to Duc, a lot of young people, whom he guessed to be elementary and middle school students, have participated very enthusiastically in the baseball trial activities on Saturday morning.
His club also attracted many trainees from partcipants in similar experience events at previous Japan Vietnam Festivals.
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