Torrey Pines High School in San Diego and local families played host for an tenth time to a group of Japanese student-athletes from Ritsumeikan Uji High School in Kyoto, as part of a popular annual exchange visit.
From August 4-19, the Japanese youngsters attended classes at Torrey Pines to help improve their English language skills and spent time on the practice field to increase their knowledge of the sport they call American football.
While in Southern California, the group attended the Rams vs Chargers NFL preseason game, watched San Diego State University football practices, toured the UCLA campus, attended a San Diego Padres game and visited the Disneyland Adventure Park. The initiative provides an exciting experience for local families, who will serve as hosts for the Japanese visitors, welcoming them into their homes and helping them explore the area during their stay.
Ritsumeikan Uji scrimmaged against Lazaro Cardenas High School from Tijuana at Torrey Pines High School, winning by two touchdowns.
The visit marked the tenth time the progressive Japanese high school has partnered with Texas-based organizer Global Football to bring its students to the United States. Former Falcons head coach Ed Burke has played a leading role in the initiative since its inception, and his relationship with Global Football dates back to 1998 when Torrey Pines families hosted players taking part in the NFL Global Junior Championship Super Bowl event.
“Ritsumeikan Uji High School provides an environment where students can develop through experiences inside Japan and around the world and we are delighted to play our part in that development,” said Global Football President Patrick Steenberge. “The entire Torrey Pines community will again have an opportunity to expand their own world view and create new friendships as they interact with our Japanese visitors. We are always grateful and indebted to local coaching legend and educator Ed Burke and our Japanese organizer Shinzo Yamada for their hard work in helping create this experience of a lifetime for these students.”