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SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Base officials are holding the 2004 Armed Forces Sports and Fitness Program a week early this year to give residents of the Hario Housing Village something to do during a planned power outage Saturday.

“That’s the main reason we did it. The folks out at Hario won’t have power for almost the entire day, and this way they can come on over here to the main base, where plenty of activities are available in Nimitz Park,” said Isaiah Mincks, a coordinator of the program co-sponsored by Morale, Welfare and Recreation officials and the base shore command.

The activities start at 9 a.m. with MWR Youth Baseball League action around the park, said Mincks, MWR’s sports director.

“In years past, we haven’t had great attendance for the program held for Armed Forces Day,” he added. “But by including the youth baseball games early in the day, we’re hoping families will decide to stay and enjoy the rest of the day at Nimitz Park. ... Hopefully, we’ll have a good crowd this year, if the weather holds up.”

Following baseball action, the morning is to include Armed Forces Day remarks by Capt. Michael James, base commander; music by the Ernest J. King High School band; and an Armed Forces Day poster contest awards presentation.

Other afternoon events include a youth fun run sponsored by Nike; an adult fun run; demonstrations by the Commander, Naval Forces Japan Regional Fire Department; several organizational displays and food booths. Also planned is a softball tournament, putting green, air toys for youngsters, volleyball, mushball (a softball variation using a bigger, softer ball and no gloves) and quickball (a whiffle ball variation).

Finally, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., the Uvr Band, a five-member rock group from Tracy, Calif., performs free of charge on the Nimitz Park stage.

Meanwhile, fund-raisers for the various activities associated with Armed Forces Day are slated, including a car wash on Friday behind the Main Base Commissary, and a barbecue and car wash May 16 in the main Navy Exchange store parking lot.

The 2004 Armed Forces Day 5K Race takes place May 14 at 5:30 p.m. in Nimitz Park. Awards go to the top finishers in youth, adult, fleet, masters and seniors divisions.

For those who prefer walking, MWR Sports is sponsoring the Sasebo Golf Club Championship at Tsukumo Golf Course on Armed Forces Day, which is May 15. The tournament is a singles handicap competition with players grouped in flights according to established MWR handicaps. Entries are due no later than Thursday, along with the $5 fee.

Call Mincks at DSN 252-3588 for more information about Armed Forces Day events in Sasebo.

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