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Tainan City Youth Baseball Team Trains in the US for Three Weeks

Tainan city will host the 2017 WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup in July, 2017. In order to be selected to represent Taiwan and compete in this event, Tainan city’s Youth Baseball Team traveled to Arizona and Los Angeles on December 3 for a three-week training session in the States. Tainan city Mayor William Lai took the time to meet with the entire team and staff today (Dec. 27) and encouraged the young athletes to work hard, maintain top physical condition and bring pride to Tainan!
The Tainan City Youth Baseball Team, led by Tainan Municipal Sie-jin Elementary School Principal Hong Rong-jin, stayed in the US between December 3 and 22 during which the team improved their skills, made new friends, and strengthened ties with our friendship cities. Liu Shih-chung, Deputy Secretary-General of Tainan City Government, also traveled to the States to visit local Taiwanese expatriate communities and friendship cities and forwarded the city government’s gratitude. Deputy Secretary-General Liu joined the Youth Baseball Team in Los Angeles to co-host the Tainan Local Produce & Tourism Promotion Event to introduce Tainan to other cities. Mayor Lai commented that it was a very successful case of city diplomacy: the young athletes made new friends through baseball, and high-quality Tainan produce were introduced to other cities.
“It’s wonderful that you get a chance to play baseball in the US at such a young age.” Mayor Lai pointed out that this overseas training program would be an unforgettable experience for the young athletes. He hopes that the team will continue to improve their physical strength and skills after this trip and perform well in the selection trials held next May. “Strengthen your skills, gain more competition experience, and most importantly, listen to your coaches,” Mayor Lai said. By working on physical strength, skills, and accumulating experience, the Mayor believes that the team can win the Hua Nan Financial Holdings National Youth Baseball Championships next May.
The Youth Baseball Team is composed of 25 students from Sie-Jin Elementary School, Chong-Syue Elementary School, Lih-Jen International Private School, Gong-Yuan Elementary School, and An-Cing Elementary School. Chen Ying-yun from Lih-Jen International Private School is the only female player on the team. She told Mayor Lai that she is grateful for this opportunity to train overseas and experience first-hand America’s baseball culture. Hopefully the team can win the spot to compete in next year’s 2017 WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup. As the outfielder of the team, Chen demonstrated some of the techniques taught to her by retired players from US Major League Baseball and greatly impressed the audience. 
The Youth Baseball Team visited Scottsdale, Chandler, and Tucson in Arizona, and also trained in Los Angles. Their trip was covered on the front pages of the local paper SanTan Sun News, and the team received baseball bats from PONY, reported team leader Principal Hong. Hopefully these exchanges through baseball can effectively promote Tainan City to the world. 
The Department of Sports under Tainan City Government said that from the beginning when the team was picking talents and training the athletes, the local government provided resources to support the coaches, athletes and training-related issues. They also set up an athlete selection and training unit to provide suggestions to coaches during the training period, and collaborated with sports science specialists from National Cheng Kung University and Kun Shan University to incorporate scientific methods into the training programs. The goal of these efforts is to improve the young athletes’ skills and help them perform better in competitions, so that Tainan can win the championship and revive the baseball trend in Taiwan once more.