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HOME > National Teams > Beach Soccer 2023 > NEWS > Japan Beach Soccer National Team interact with students during a visit to the Japanese School in Jeddah


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Japan Beach Soccer National Team interact with students during a visit to the Japanese School in Jeddah

07 June 2023

Japan Beach Soccer National Team interact with students during a visit to the Japanese School in Jeddah

After finishing third in the 2nd ANOC World Beach Games Bali 2023 Asian Qualifier, the Japan Beach Soccer National Team paid a courtesy visit to the Jeddah Japanese School in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday 28 May.

This courtesy visit was made possible after school officials came to support the Japan Beach Soccer National Team in their first match against the IR Iran National Team. Because schools are closed on Fridays and Saturdays, and open on Sundays in Saudi Arabis, the players had the opportunity to interact with the students.

Upon arrival at the school, the team was informed about the children's daily lives in Jeddah by the principle and vice-principal. The team was welcomed in a homely atmosphere as there were only five children in the whole school, and the exchange started immediately on the school playground. KIBUNE Yuki (Averdade Kumamoto BS) encouraged the children to join as the players formed a circle to juggle the ball around. The children and teachers cheered on as MATSUO Naoya (Averdade Kumamoto BS) and ITO Ryunosuke (Lazo Apego Kitakyusyu) demonstrated bicycle kicks. The children were also invited to participate, as they delivered passes to setup the bicycle shots of Ito and SHIBAMOTO Shinya (Tokyo Verdy BS), while YAMADA Takahito (Tokyo Verdy BS) lectured them how to kick a free kick off of a mountain made of sand. The children enthusiastically chased the ball around as they repeatedly took shots at the team’s goalkeeper KAWAI Yusuke (Tokyo Verdy BS).

Following the demonstration, a social meeting was held where kids and teachers could ask players questions about beach soccer. When asked how many countries they had played in, assistant coach TABATA Teruki, who has the most experience, replied, “Around 50 countries,” to which the children looked at each other in amazement. The event came to a close with a speech from the children, a gift from the players to each of them, and a group photo.

Because of the pandemic, it was challenging for the players to visit a nearby Japanese school over the past few years, which made this visit a priceless experience that brought many smiles to their faces in a short period of time. It was also a meaningful activity to introduce children to beach soccer and make them feel closer to the Japan Beach Soccer National Team.

Children's Comment

・I went to the match on Saturday and thought the players were cool. So, I was looking forward to meeting them today. It was a short but very enjoyable experience for me, watching them practice in front of me and getting to play with them. Thank you very much.

・We appreciate your visit to Jeddah Japanese School. The bicycle kicks were very spectacular to watch. We also appreciate you responding to so many of our questions. I gained a lot of knowledge about beach soccer and now I want to play it on the beach.

Staff and Players' Comments

TABATA Teruki, Assistant Coach
We were able to interact with children from the Jeddah Japanese School who came to support us during the tournament. This is the first time in seven years that the Japan Beach Soccer National Team have had such opportunity since Dubai in 2016. Although it was for a short period of time, we spent a great time with the children. We feel that these social events are valuable activities that build connections with the children and at the same time promote the team's contribution to society. I think it brings a lot of joy and learning not only for the children, but also for us, the beach soccer and football family as a whole. We hope to continue with these social events in the future.

MATSUO Naoya (Averdade Kumamoto BS)
Whenever we go on an international tour, the local Japanese community is always there to support us, and the Japanese people living in Saudi Arabia came to support us in this tour. Prior to the pandemic, we used to visit Japanese schools during each of our international tours, but this was our first visit in nearly seven years. Although there were only five children, we were able to spend quality time with each one of them through beach soccer. Although I am a player of a minor sport like beach soccer, the support we received from the Jeddah Japanese School made me reaffirm that I am a member of the Japan national team, and I received a lot of energy from the smiles on their faces. I look forward to interacting with our supporters in other countries. I would like to thank the Japanese School of Jeddah for inviting us.

YAMADA Takahito (Tokyo Verdy BS)
We got to interact with the students and teachers from the Jeddah Japanese School who came to cheer us on throughout the competition. Although it was only for a short time, we had a great time kicking the ball together and answering the children's questions. It is a pleasure to be able to engage with the Japanese people in Saudi Arabia, a country so far from Japan. It would be fantastic if this exchange had at least slightly piqued the kids' interest in Japanese football. I would like to actively participate in such events in the future.

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