Friday, November 28, 2014

A Message From Honoka Kaname

A Message From Honoka Kaname

By Honoka Kaname
Special to Spirit News
August 24, 2072

Dear friends and members of the Mitakihara Family,

It is my honour and privilege to formally congratulate the sports and recreation department of Leafa College on ascending to NCAA Division I membership. The Mitakihara University System has officially made history as the first university system to have two athletic programs based outside of the United States that compete as full members of Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. We are proud of those from Leafa who now join the most competitive and most prestigious university athletics association in the world.

We are especially proud of the Leafa Spirit American football team, which the Mitakihara Family considers as its flagship team. With our Magi now competing in Division I FCS, it is our hope that the Spirit will have the same amounts of success that our Magi had as a member of every conference, with the exception of the American Athletic Conference, and as an independent, playing college football. Gridiron, as it is called in Australia, is on the rise Down Under, and this year's team comprises of the best promising talent the country has to offer.

The preparation to Leafa's inaugural year as an NCAA Division I member reminds us of our first-ever year playing football in 2011, more than six decades ago. The Spirit are no strangers to success: they have won 26 straight national championships in Australia before this season and had been the most dominant program in Gridiron NSW. The move to compete in the NCAA has been 10 years in the making, with discussions and meetings with leaders in government in the United States, Canada and Australia regarding logistics, feasability and demand.

Indeed, Australia is a natural sporting nation. Many great athletes were born in Australia, represent different disciplines and codes. The friendliness and camaraderie of the sporting public in Australia is unique, and the culture is remarkable. The story of Leafa College playing competitively in America is being documented by local journalists, newspapers and pundits on both sides of the Pacific. It's a story that will resonate for many decades to come, and its legacy is sure to be remembered.

The Mitakihara University System wishes all the best to the teams from Leafa College as they embark on the longest journey that begins with the smallest step. The time has come for the world to Lift Its Spirit Higher.

Good luck!

-Dr. Honoka Kaname
Chancellor, Mitakihara University System