The irreplaceable treasure I discovered through lacrosse

Yukari Yamamoto Fourth-year student Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics Among the many universities and economics departments she could have joined, Yukari Yamamoto was attracted to Meiji Gakuin University’s Faculty of Economics because of its “Do for Others” educational philosophy. She also appreciated the freedom it allowed, being able to learn the basics and expand her interests in her first year, then choose a specialization in her second year. While working hard on her studies, she took up lacrosse as a university student, a sport she had wanted to play since junior high school. She is now the team captain, leading her team to a 2022 victory in the “Lacrosse/Tsumagoi/Spring Cup” national tournament and herself being designated tournament MVP. She has gained the trust of her teammates, who describe her as a dependable captain.

With an effervescent smile, Yukari Yamamoto says, “Enrolling in Meiji Gakuin University provided me with a place I treasure. Those who started lacrosse with me, our seniors and juniors, our coaches... Meeting all the people involved in lacrosse and giving it my all has been an invaluable experience for me. Through lacrosse, I have experienced growth not only as a team, but also within myself.”

The lacrosse team Ms. Yamamoto leads generally practices five days a week, starting at 7:30 in the morning. By steadily improving through short, efficient, and focused daily practices, the team has grown to where it can aim for promotion to the first division in the Kanto Student Lacrosse League and, beyond that, to becoming the best team in Japan. “Most of us started playing lacrosse in college,” she says, “so the more effort we put into it, the more growth we experience, which is very rewarding. And that growth is not only technical. Lacrosse is also a student-centered sport, so we are in charge of managing all club activities and deciding what to practice.”

Another thing they decided themselves was the team philosophy that the lacrosse team upholds. They settled on the same as Meiji Gakuin University’s educational philosophy, “Do for Others.” She says, “Discussing this, we decided we wanted to create a team that would win supporters because of our contributions to others. We now regularly volunteer to pick up litter around the Totsuka and Unoki fields we use for practice. I want to continue volunteer work even after I’ve left the lacrosse team. In that sense of combining ‘Do for Others’ with sports, I am studying to become licensed as a sports food advisor, and in the future, I hope to support people who are involved in sports.” With a smile, she describes the treasure she discovered at Meiji Gakuin and how she grew: “Thanks to lacrosse, I’m now able to think for myself, take initiative, and act proactively.”