Hello, I am Katsuhisa Tanaka, a director of the Uganda National Baseball Team.

 

Ever since I started playing baseball at the age of 9, I never stopped playing. In2011, I joined Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers and came to Uganda to teach baseball to Ugandan kids and youths. I wanted to make social contribution through baseball. Then, up until 2014, I was working as a coach of the Uganda National Baseball Team.

 

3 years later, I came back to Uganda again to bring the Uganda National
Baseball Team to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

 

 

When I first arrived in Uganda, baseball was not popular at all and everyone was a big football fan. Yet, for three years, I worked together with those Ugandans who truly love baseball. We created the Uganda National Baseball Association and constructed a baseball field of the international standard. Also, the Uganda Little League (under the age of 12) participated in an international competition in 2012, and now we have a professional baseball player for the first time in Ugandan baseball history.

 


In the end of 2014, the Uganda National Baseball Team competed against the South African Team. The Ugandan team fought very well against the strongest team in the Africa. Furthermore, the Ugandan team finally won the victory in the East African Cup.


These achievements give great hope for Uganda kids and youths. Now, they
truly dream to become a professional baseball player.

 

In the 2020 Summer Olympics, baseball and softball once again became part of the official Olympic program. However, only 6 teams can play in the 2020 Summer Olympics. If we, the Uganda National Baseball Team, were to participate in the 2020 Summer Olympics, we must first be the African Champion, then the European Champion.

 


Many say it is impossible – It is impossible for the Ugandan team to be the
European champion and play in the Olympics. However, it is not just a dream. We, the Ugandan baseball players and I, strongly believe that we can play well against those strong countries, become the African and European champion and participate in the Tokyo Olympics.


For the past 7 years since I came to Uganda, we have made great efforts. To
become a stronger team and participate in the 2020 Summer Olympics, we
need more and more exercises and experiences. For us to compete against
strong teams, let us go to Japan and play. Your contribution is greatly
appreciated.

 

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Our dream is not just to participate in the 2020 Summer Olympics. To promote baseball in Uganda is meaningful in many senses. Kato Erick, a professional baseball player who joined a Japan tour in 2016, has a bigger dream to achieve by making baseball major sports in Uganda.

 


For Ugandan kids and youths to play baseball, they have to overcome many
challenges. They often have to fetch water for their family and are busy with
other errands. However, despite the harsh environment, they are passionate
about baseball. Although baseball is still minor sports compared with  football, we now have more than 5,000 baseball players. At the newly constructed baseball field of the international standard, those professional players, youths and kids come together to exercise, and more than anything, to enjoy.

 

 

The baseball field became an important hub for Ugandan kids and youths. We believe that, through playing baseball, Ugandan kids and youths will find their way to become happier.

 

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