The sport of baseball is popular in Japan and the Republic of Korea. But it wasn’t as popular in China until the 2008 Olympics, when the national team beat the region of Taiwan. Since then, more and more Chinese teenagers have been taking up the American sport and some are even making the trip to the U.S. to hone their skills and at the same time make lasting friendships.
CCTV America’s Nathan King reports.
Chinese teen baseball hopefuls train at US campsThe sport of baseball is popular in Japan and the Republic of Korea. bBt it wasn’t as popular in China until the 2008 Olympics, when the national team beat the region of Taiwan. Since then, more and more Chinese teenagers have been taking up the American sport and some are even making the trip to the U.S. to hone their skills and at the same time make lasting friendships. CCTV America’s Nathan King reports.
A typical American summer in U.S, kids are practicing the nation’s pastime baseball. But the Arlington Babe Ruth baseball club has some special visitors this summer. 18 kids from Beijing, boys and girls with a love for baseball are here, honing their skills and staying with American families for a summer of baseball and so much more.
Kang Kang founded Jiapao baseball, after playing the sport in the U.S. for three years, Jiapao is a play on words that uses the words home and run in Mandarin to evoke what baseball can teach kids no matter where they are from.
“We do everything through baseball, baseball is just a game just a door. Open the door and we have tours, we have hosting families, we have American team mates, we have American food we have camping hiking here- it’s not all about baseball here” Kang Kang said.
As well as daily practices, the group from Beijing visited landmarks like the White House, went camping and hiking and are exposed to the U.S. way of life
Three Chinese baseball player, Venessa Guan, Steven Gao and Edward Hu talked about their feeling toward the trip. They like America because it’s clean and fun, the people here are nice. They also think training is the finest part of this trip.
Jim Lefebvre, the baseball coach and trainer, helped train China’s national team in preparation for the 2008 Olympics. Now he is back in the U.S. helping train a new generation of Chinese appreciate all the life lessons baseball can bring.
“Along with the improvements they learn how to be teammates we learn that because of our two countries we did blend together as one – and played one another and that was real treat and the benefit of the program I felt,” Lefebvre said.
In the end is not really about getting the most home runs but about Chinese kids feeling at home here in the U.S. with their U.S. counterparts, getting to know each other one strike at a time.
Mark Tanner discusses sports academies
For more on sports academies, CCTV-America’s Rachelle Akuffo interviewed Mark Tanner, the managing director of marketing and research firm, China Skinny.