Feb 22, 2010
SIRIGAMPOLAGE Sujeewa J. W. (APS4, Sri Lanka) who is scheduled to graduate this coming spring, continues to work towards the development and popularization of baseball in his home country of Sri Lanka and has been collecting disused baseball equipment from local Oita Prefecture baseball teams.
Mr. SIRIGAMPOLAGE began baseball as a high school student, coached his local Ananda College baseball team and was a member of the Sri Lankan national baseball team. After entering APU in spring 2006, Mr. SIRIGAMPOLAGE remained a coordinator for the Sri Lankan Baseball League and gained further experience as a member of the Oita and Beppu rubber baseball leagues, an umpire at All-Japan Rubber Baseball Tournament games held in Oita Prefecture, interaction with JICA, the Baseball Federation of Asia (BFA), and other organisations working to promote the internationalisation of baseball in Japan. He also picked up an Incentive Prize at the "10th Umpire School" hosted by Japan Baseball in December, 2009.
In response to Mr. SIRIGAMPOLAGE's call to the local community for disused baseball equipment, a large number of gloves, bats and balls have been donated by local baseball groups including the Prefectural Rubber Baseball League, eastern Oita Little-Seniors, and many more. A number of pro-baseball players took part in the "World Catch-ball Classic in Oita" held last year at APU and pledged their support to the donation appeal.
Mr. SIRIGAMPOLAGE majored in tourism studies at APU and has secured a job-offer from a hotel-chain in Fukuoka Prefecture. He spoke of finding a balance between his work and baseball, "I hope to make good use of the specialist skills and international understanding I gained at APU to link Sri Lanka with Japan through baseball and tourism and contribute to my home country's further development. I will continue to work hard to become an even better coach and the best umpire in Sri Lanka".