LILacrossenews.com, Posted 5/15/12
From Press Release
Hofstra University Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach Seth Tierney announced Monday the Pride’s schedule for their nine-day trip to Tokyo, Japan for the 23rd International Friendship Games of 2012, hosted by the Japan Lacrosse Association (JLA) and sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United States Embassy, Tokyo Prefecture, Edogawa City and the Yomiuri Newspaper Company.
Hofstra, which will play five games and conduct a lacrosse clinic during the goodwill tour, will leave for Japan on Wednesday, May 30, departing from New York’s La Guardia Airport on Delta Airlines to Detroit and connecting there for the flight to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda).
The Pride players, who will stay with host families during their trip, have a welcome reception hosted by the Honorable Masami Tada, Mayor of Edogawa City, on June 1. Hofstra will play its first exhibition against a Tokyo All-Star squad on Saturday, June 2 at 11 a.m. Following the contest, Hofstra will conduct a two-hour clinic for 200 students from 50 schools at Rinkai Field. On Sunday, June 3 at 3 p.m., the Pride will play the National Team of Japan, which ranked fourth in the 2010 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships in Manchester, England, at Edogawa Stadium.
After a sightseeing day on June 4, Hofstra will play its final three exhibitions on Tuesday, June 5 when they face three of the most prestigious institutes of higher learning in Japan in 2011 Collegiate Champions Waseda University, founded in 1882, at 1:30 p.m. third-ranked Keio University, Japan’s oldest University founded in 1858, at 2:30 p.m. and the second-ranked University of Tokyo, Japan’s best national university founded in 1877, at 3:30 p.m. The Pride will enjoy one final day of sightseeing, including a trip to Tokyo Disneyland, on Wednesday, June 6 before leaving Japan early Thursday morning, June 7 for the trip back to New York.
The Japan Friendship Games trip, which has been funded by a generous gift from Drs. Arno and Mindy Fried, was originally scheduled for June, 2011 but was postponed following the Japan earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. The JLA invitation was initiated by Yusuke Sasaki, Director of the JLA, who has known Coach Tierney since 1989 when both were teammates at Johns Hopkins University.
Tierney and the Pride have kept the people of Japan in their thoughts during the past 14 months. “It was with great enthusiasm that we accepted the JLA invitation to participate in the 2011 Friendship Games,” Tierney said. “Along with the rest of the world, we then watched with sadness and concern for the people of Japan during the tragedy caused by the earthquake and tsunami. Our thoughts and prayers were with them then as they are now as the rebuilding continues and we remember those who were lost.”
Tierney is excited to help the growth of the game of lacrosse in Japan. “We look forward to our contests against the National Team of Japan, the Tokyo All-Star Team and the Waseda University, Keio University and the University of Tokyo teams. But we are most proud to serve as ambassadors for our game, our University and our country. While Hofstra is going to Japan as sportsmen, we go most importantly, as friends.”
“Lacrosse Makes Friends is the slogan of the JLA since it was founded in 1987,” Sasaki said. “We greatly appreciate Hofstra University’s visit to boost the spirit of Japan. This is Operation Tomodachi (Friends) by lacrosse players and their volunteer community.”
The Pride mentor, who completed his sixth season at Hofstra in 2012, also expressed his appreciation for the JLA and those who continued to support the trip. “A trip of this nature takes plenty of planning and we have had two years worth of preparations and plans,” Tierney stated. “We thank Hiroshi Kimura, President of the JLA, Yusuke and the JLA for their invitations and planning in Japan. We thank Delta Airlines for their assistance, consideration and sticking with us when last year’s trip was postponed. Most of all, we thank Arno and Mindy Fried, whose continued support of Hofstra Lacrosse and Pride Athletics is a beacon, both athletically and academically.”
Hofstra, which begins semester finals this week, will practice at James M. Shuart Stadium on Tuesday, May 29 before leaving for Japan.