While preparing for preseason football camp, the University of Arkansas football team’s athletic training staff has been fortunate enough to have the assistance of two sports science interns all the way from Tokyo, Japan.&Norihiro Matsuda, 21, and Takaaki Kodani, 22, arrived on the UA campus July 29 for a two week program established by Jeff Bonacci, Program Director for Athletic Training Education for UA, and Chiaki Nakamura, Associate Professor of Sports Sciences at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. Bonacci and Nakamura met at a National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) convention a few years back and have been in contact about abroad internships since, bringing the first Waseda student to Arkansas six years ago.&Nori and Taka (as they go by) have been working for the past two weeks with Matt Summers, Director of Athletic Training, and his staff as they prepare for the 2013 football season."It’s been great to have Nori and Taka here to help out," Summers said. "This is a busy time of year and there is always something to do. Both of these guys are willing and excited to assist in any way possible and always have a huge smile on their face while doing so; it has been a great experience for them."& &Like the other student assistant trainers and staff Nori and Taka have been working in the new Fred W. Smith Football Center. When asked about Arkansas and its facilities the duo explained how much larger the facilities are in Arkansas compared to their facilities in Tokyo.&Nori and Taka will both be entering their senior year at Waseda in the sports science program where they plan on graduating in March of 2014. Both have high hopes in returning to the United States especially Arkansas, in the future for graduate school or for other career opportunities. While in Fayetteville, Nori and Taka have been taking in the new culture of Razorback country. They are living on campus in the dorms, report to work everyday at 6 a.m. to help prepare for a day on the football field and even grabbed a bite to eat out on Dickson St. The pair says that one of the most things they have enjoyed is the food.
"There is so much food here," Nori said. "It is all very good and we are always full!"&Nori and Taka will head back to Tokyo on August 9 and take back all they have learned here in Arkansas from Summers and the Razorback football squad.