SanMateo/Toyonaka softball exchange

This October for the first time ever, girls softball will be played between teams from San Mateo, California, and Toyonaka, Japan.

In 1963, San Mateo and Toyonaka became sister cities in an effort to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation. Since 1979, when San Mateo hosted the first Goodwill Baseball Exchange with Toyonaka, each city has taken turns every two years hosting one another’s boys baseball teams, playing a series of baseball games, and learning about each other’s cultures.

Now after 39 years, San Mateo Sister City Association  (SMSCA) will be sending its first ever San Mateo Girls Softball Exchange Team to play against girls softball teams in Toyonaka. After a rigourous tryout and interview process earlier this spring, 17 San Mateo girls between the ages of 11 and 14 were selected to represent their city in this inaugural exchange.

The team will be coached by Vince DeFriese and Nick Dykes. Coach DeFriese, who is also the president of San Mateo Youth Softball Association, is honored to be part of this historic team. “This has been a long time coming. I’ve been working for years with SMSCA to try to give our girls the same opportunity the boys have had for almost 4 decades.” With additional help from USA Softball Deputy Commissioner Mike Blondino and Japanese softball representatives in Toyonaka—this once lofty pipe dream is about to come true.

Over the next several months, not only will the team be practicing together on the field, they will also be attending mandatory Japanese culture classes to prepare for their trip. According to SMSCA representative, Carolyn Shavel, the exchanges between San Mateo and Toyonaka youths provide an invaluable experience toward expanding their world views and fostering lifelong friendships.

SMSCA has set a fundraising goal of $85,000 to make this cultural and sporting exchange happen.  If you would like to help these trailblazing young female athletes meet their goal, please donate at  If you prefer to show your support by check, please make it payable to “San Mateo Sister City Association”, and mail it to:

Attn: Toyonaka Softball
P.O. Box 729
San Mateo, CA 94401

Donations (73)

See top
  • Marc Castro
    • $75 
    • 5 yrs
  • Christine Charles
    • $50 
    • 5 yrs
  • Denise Toney
    • $25 
    • 5 yrs
  • Gary Kohara
    • $80 
    • 5 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 5 yrs
See all


James Regan
San Mateo, CA
San Mateo Sister City Association Inc
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.