NPB's Yomiuri Giants, JICA hold Baseball and Baseball5 online clinic for 68 Burkina Faso players

NPB's Yomiuri Giants, JICA hold Baseball and Baseball5 online clinic for 68 Burkina Faso players
The Giants Academy coaches Jun Hasegawa, a former NPB pitcher, Tsujito Rin and Japanese Baseball5 National Team player Miwa Tanaka (pictured above) held the clinic.

The Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) held an online clinic for 68 players of various ages of the Burkina Faso Baseball and Softball Federation in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Two coaches of the Giants Academy - Jun Hasegawa, a former Giants' right-hander, and Tsujito Rin - held the baseball clinic.

Hasegawa gave pitching lessons, focusing on the motion and the ball release point to minimize stress on the pitcher's shoulder. Tsuji offered a clinic on hitting.

Miwa Tanaka, an outfielder for the Giants women's team, represented Japan in the inaugural WBSC Baseball5 World Cup. She demonstrated Baseball5 to U-15 players,

"It was a great opportunity," commented Tanaka. "It was my first online clinic, and now I look forward to going to Burkina Faso and working on the field with them. Everyone was so motivated,"

Toru Kuramata, who is in charge of the Giants' development programme, commented: "I was impressed by the level of the players and their attitude. It's an honour if the Giants Academy programme can support development in Burkina Faso."

In January 2010, the Giants and the JICA agreed on a programme to improve baseball knowledge in developing countries.

The Giants supported development in Tanzania through clinics in 2017.

"We had to put many developing initiatives on hold due to the COVID-19 restrictions," added Kuramata. "We are willing to support development in various countries, starting with Southeast Asia.

The 68 players followed the online instructions on the new field inaugurated in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou. The Japanese Embassy supported construction through a US$87,500 grant.

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