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Kids soccer tourney goes international

Date Posted: 2006-09-29

Twenty soccer teams take to the pitch Saturday in an international friendship tournament.

More than 600 elementary school students make up the 20 Japanese and 18 American teams to compete at the Chibana fields, outside Kadena Gate 3. The day-long event begins at 8:30am Saturday, with action projected to end about 4:30pm. The kids, ages 6-10, will compete throughout the day, and will join in a noon barbeque. An awards ceremony is planned for the afternoon.

The tournament is jointly sponsored by the United Services Organization, Youth Sports on Kadena, and the newest non-profit organization on Okinawa, the Okinawa Development International Council. An event spokesman says the ODIC plans to be heavily involved in exchange programs.

A similar soccer tournament, this one targeting youngsters 11-15, is planned for Saturday, October 7th. An organizer says the older kids will form ten American and ten Japanese squads.

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