The City of Kamloops and Uji City have shared a Sister City relationship since the official twinning on July 1, 1990. As part of that relationship, the City of Kamloops hosts a group of junior high school students from Uji each year. From July 29 to August 1, 2018, the City is hosting this visit for the 25th year. The annual visit has only been cancelled twice, once due to H1N1 concerns and in 2017 due to the wildfires.
Each junior high school in Uji is eligible to apply for the opportunity for one student to travel to Canada for a week each year. All 12 Uji schools choose one student to send, based on an essay competition.
The students, two chaperones, and a tour guide enjoy a trip through Calgary, Banff, and the Rocky Mountains and then travel back to Vancouver for a day of sightseeing before heading to Kamloops. While in Kamloops, the students have two full days of activities and three nights with home-stay families.
The group itinerary in Kamloops has always included a fun baseball game for the students, chaperones, and host families. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the equipment typically used by the group is unavailable this year, but in typical Kamloops fashion, the community has come together to make the game happen.
We would like to extend a special thanks to the following for Making Kamloops Shine:
•Phil Dolson of Dolson’s Source for Sports sponsored a baseball bat
•Kelly Kelland, CEO of Interior Community Services and 1996 Softball Olympian, lent some of her personal equipment
•Thompson Rivers University baseball coach Ray Chadwick loaned bases
•City of Kamloops Parks, Recreation, and Cultural staff and PacificSport Interior BC staff lent gloves and balls
•Kevin Sewell of BDO offered the use of some bats
•City of Kamloops Parks crew went out to Albert McGowan Monday evening to prepare the field for the game
Students find the experience memorable and the relationships formed in Kamloops are often long-lasting. Several students who visited Kamloops as part of this visit have returned to Kamloops to attend Thompson Rivers University as part of their post-secondary education. The scholarship students from Uji that attend Thompson Rivers University are also included in the group itinerary.