Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nagano Soccer Tournament

Today I taught at Azuma Elementary. It was the first time I taught the new 1st graders. I was happy to find out they all instantly loved me. Alot of them wanted to hold my hands. I made English fun for them pretty quickly I guess. They're so cute. They make me enjoy my job.

This past weekend I took a trip with friends to Nagano (that's right, it's where the 1998 Winter Olympics were held) to compete in a soccer tournament. We left early Saturday morning around 6 am. (I had to get up around 4:45 to get ready, it sucked).

Team's from all around Japan showed up. Each team represented the prefecture (similar to a county). I represented Tochigi. I think the teams were supposed to be made of mostly foreigners, but there was a good mix of Japanese and foreigners on each team. There were 12 men's teams and 4 womens teams in total.

I never really got into soccer all that much. It is a fun sport, but I always had other sports in the front of my mind. The only time I've ever played organized soccer was when I was in elementary school, and as you can guess it probably wasn't that "organized". The guys taught me some of the ground rules, and responsibilities for positions. I picked it up pretty quick and did pretty well.

The whole weekend called for rain, so alot of us got our rain gear ready for the weekend. Sure enough almost all of Saturday and all of Sunday it rained.

The first game started around 10am. On Saturday we had a total of 3 games. Our first game we drew 1 - 1. Our second game we won 3 - 1 (I scored a goal). Our last game we lost 4 - 2. The rain definitely made it a little more rough for everyone.

Saturday night after dinner and relaxing in the hotel room there was a dance party. I've posted a ton of pics on facebook here. Its funny, of all the pics I didn't get any of us playing because it was raining so much I didn't want to bring my camera to the field. A couple other people got pics of us on the field, but not many. Here are a couple:
On the way
Lining Up (That's me in the front)
Watching the game
Taking a break between games
Dance Party

Sunday was raining harder than on Saturday. We only played one game, we lost 4 to 2. We decided to forfeit the 2nd game, but so did the other team so we ended up tying for 3rd place.

All in all it was a really fun tournament, I'm really glad I went. I got to go a place I haven't been yet in Japan. I got to meet a bunch of other ALTs from my prefecture. I got to see some people I hadn't seen in a while. I got to play sports. I got to dance/party ect. SO MANY GOOD THINGS!
The tournament is only twice a year, so the next one won't be until October. If I'm still around I'll definitely go.

1 comment:

John Milito said...

Looks like I missed a good time. Those sports trips never appealed to me. I guess it just seems like a long way to travel for a soccer game when there is perfectly good grass just outside. hehe