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SMBP soars to Tokyo

Posted on September 8, 2017 by | 2 views

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By: Dir. Michael Gan


This year was something special.


For the first time since its inception in 2012, JCI Manila launched the Smokey Mountain Baseball


Project (SMBP) in Tokyo, Japan last August 18-21, 2017 in partnership JCI Tokyo. The SMBP team was


comprised of 12 kids from Smokey Mountain, who underwent a rigorous selection and qualification


process.


JCI Manila member and project chairman Jason Manuel Oliva mentioned that they instituted a try-


out system and trimmed down the final delegation to 12.


“We started with a 30-man pool and we ended up with 12 delegates whom we brought and


sponsored to Japan. We implemented a point system for the players where we factored in their


attendance and attitude towards practice, academic performance, and compliance with the


requirements in order to join the trip,” Oliva said.


According to Chairman Oliva, the plan to take the SMBP to Tokyo started as early as 2017 during the


JCI World Congress. The program was formalized by the JCI Manila Board of Directors (BOD) and JCI


Tokyo BOD formalized the meeting last March 2017 in Tokyo, Japan.


Since 2012, JCI Tokyo was bringing baseball legends from their country to Manila so they can teach


the SMBP players how to play baseball. Last August 20, the SMBP team was able to witness the Tokyo


Giants and Yokohama superstars clash at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo.


In addition, Chairman Oliva explained the bringing the SMBP team to Tokyo inspired the kids to


pursue baseball professionally so it may help them secure scholarships and have a better future.


“We wanted to inspire the young kids to aim higher by bringing them to where the action is.


Baseball is very popular in Tokyo and they were able to meet and greet the superstars, appreciate the


unique culture of Japan and tour the city. This experience will motivate other kids in Smokey Mountain


to join the SMBP team so they can have scholarships and join varsity teams in the future,” Oliva stated.


The SMBP program has helped around 30 young adults get into college and of them is MJ Abanes,


who is a 3 rd year UP Diliman student majoring in Special Education.

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