USFJ – American Football League cleans up Sunset beach seawall
CHATAN, OKINAWA, JAPAN –The players from the U.S. Forces Japan – American Football league came together for a friendship day beach cleanup Aug. 4 at the Sunset beach in Chatan, Okinawa.
The Kinser Kings, Kadena Dragons, Camp Hansen Outlaws, and the University of Ryukyu Stingrays spent the day cleaning up trash around the beach sea wall and enjoyed a cookout after.
"The purpose of the clean-up was to show the community that we are out here with them," said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marc Acosta, an aircraft mechanic chief with 18th Equipment Maintenance Squadron. "We want them to see that we care, that we are part of this community too."
The USFJ - AFL was started in the hope that the local and military communities could find a common interest and build strong friendships. The cleanup allows players from all the teams to spend time together off the football field and to work together to take care of their community.
"I know Americans stay on island two or three years and I have had friends who leave," said Riichiro Shinjo, coach of the Ryukyu Stingrays. "When we come together, we make more friends. I hope my team takes this time to make strong friends like I did."
Sports are a universal language according to U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Aaren Preston, a data systems operator with expeditionary operations training and a Kinser Kings’ player. Sports can bring many people together and through sports, the communities grow and bond.
The friendship day beach cleanup will only be the beginning according to Acosta. He wants to continue to be out in the community with his players. He said that he plans on doing events once a month by volunteering in different ways with his players. The friendship beach cleanup was only the beginning of many more bonding days.
CHATAN, OKINAWA, Japan – A Kinser Kings’ player picks up trash during a friendship day beach cleanup Aug. 4 at the Sunset beach seawall in Chatan, Okinawa, Japan. The Kinser Kings, Kadena Dragons, Camp Hansen Outlaws, and the University of Ryukyu Stingrays spent the day cleaning up trash around the seawall and enjoyed a cookout after. The cleanup allowed players from all the teams to spend time together off the football field and to work together to take care of their community.