09/21/21 Summer Fun at Camp Budokan
Across four weeks, Terasaki Budokan hosted its second annual basketball, volleyball, and martial arts summer camps, bringing in about 70 youth campers. With sneaker squeaks and laughter echoing throughout the gymnasium floor, campers had a fun time making new friends while learning fundamental sports skills. The spirit of Budokan was truly felt by all those who passed through its doors, as they built new connections and created new memories within our historic neighborhood. We had the chance to speak with some familiar faces about why they chose to participate in this year’s camp.
“The boys had a lot of fun last year. We stayed out here for a week and they were excited to do that again. It’s like a little vacation. They love eating at all the Japanese restaurants and playing at Budokan,” said returning parent Mike Mio. “It’s neat to have a gym in Little Tokyo that’s easily accessible. It feels great to have a home court for the Japanese American (JA) community.”
Our summer camps would not have been possible without the help of our coaches and volunteers, most of whom have been a part of the JA basketball community for years. From running drills to joining the campers on their lunch breaks, our volunteers went above and beyond to ensure every camper had a great experience.
“This JA community has given me so much,” expressed Coach Shane. “I think through this camp, we’re helping the younger generation form strong friendships and bonds to last them throughout their life. I hope they can see how to use basketball as a platform to give back to their community.”
With our second year in the books, we look forward to continuing to instill teamwork, dedication, and community within our youth programs. Through this camp, we witnessed our mission come to life by reconnecting youth to Little Tokyo, driving foot traffic to our community’s small businesses, and strengthening the cultural legacy of our neighborhood. Thank you to our camp facilitator, Ryan Lee, and all of our coaches and volunteers for another amazing year. See you next summer!