First ever in Japan, Baseball5 becomes curricular activity at Oberlin University

First ever in Japan, Baseball5 becomes curricular activity at Oberlin University
Oberlin University in Tokyo has launched the Baseball5 course which will be led by the associate Professor Kenta Wakamatsu (right in the cover picture; Oberlin president Hiroaki Hatayama is left, Japan Baseball5 National Team player Takuya Shima is middle) "It's an absolute first in Japan, and the outcome is hard to imagine."

Oberlin University in Machida, Tokyo, Japan, will introduce Baseball5 as a curricular activity in 2023. The Baseball5 course will consist of 14 classes in each semester at the School of Health and Welfare at Oberlin.

Associate Professor Kenta Wakamatsu runs the project. After leading the Baseball5 showcase at the Tokyo 2020 Fan Park, Wakamatsu served on Japan's coaching staff at the inaugural WBSC Baseball5 World Cup in Mexico. Japan finished second behind Cuba.

"It is an absolute first in Japan, so the outcome is hard to imagine," commented Wakamatsu. "I witnessed the dedication and stories of the students and young players of the Junk Baseball Club supporting the Tokyo2020 Fan Park together, and also I first hand experienced the greatness of exchanging culture, the performance of the top players as well as the cohesion of players, spectator and staff at the Baseball5 World Cup. I believe it would be a great opportunity to share this wonderful experience with the Oberlin University students. I can only hope we can give dreams to the university students who will lead the next generation and help them improve their international and human skills through the new urban sport Baseball5. I will do my best with one lecture, one spirit."

Oberlin University also decided to add the Baseball5 club as the 43rd extracurricular activity where most of the students dedicate their time after the classes.

Wakamatsu and Takuya Shima, an Oberlin alum representing Japan at the Baseball5 World Cup, visited Oberlin president Hiroaki Hatayama before leaving for Mexico.

Oberlin University is named after Jean-Frédéric Oberlin (1740-1826), an alsatian pastor and philanthropist considered "the true precursor of social Christianity" in France. A Christian colony close to Cleveland, Ohio, USA, was founded in his name in 1833.

"Baseball5 is a game that reflects the ideas of J.F. Oberlin," Hatayama commented on the University website.