Tuesday , May 28 2024

Japanese youth players visit VfB Stuttgart!

As part of its decades-long twinning arrangement with Ogaki, Stuttgart is once again taking part in a youth sports exchange programme with the Japanese city this year – and VfB are involved too.

The exchange programme between Stuttgart’s Youth Sports Association and the Ogaki Amateur Sports Federation, which is part of the decades-long twinning arrangement between the two cities, has been taking place for over 20 years – and this year is no different. Led by Hiromitsu Hayashi, a 13-strong delegation arrived in Stuttgart last week and is due to stay in the Baden-Württemberg capital until 5 April.

To help the youngsters learn about German culture and way of life, their visit included a number of cultural, social and sporting activities. They were put up by host families during their stay in Stuttgart and visited some of the city’s famous landmarks, including the TV tower and the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

VfB were responsible for one of the biggest highlights of the trip, however. The participants not only got to cheer on Sebastian Hoeneß’s side from the stands in their Bundesliga home match against 1. FC Heidenheim on Easter Sunday, they were also given an enthralling look behind the scenes during a tour of the MHP Arena on the morning of the game.

Japan and Germany have previously taken turns to host the annual event, but from this year onwards youngsters from both countries will take part in a bi-annual exchange. Later this year, a delegation from Stuttgart will therefore get to spend 10 to 12 days in Ogaki.

Stuttgart has been twinned with the Japanese city since the latter’s 70th anniversary in 1988. The exchange, which has been taking place since 2000, is supported by the city of Stuttgart and the German Youth Sports Association, as well as VfB. Thanks in part to the numerous Japanese players who have represented the Cannstatt outfit, and the rich history between the club and Japan, VfB enjoy a close bond with the Land of the Rising Sun which they are keen to preserve.

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