Social exchange event held for the local Japanese community at SPORT FOR TOMORROW South America- Japan U-21 Football Exchange Programme
26 March 2018
Along with the Girls Festival held in day four of the SPORT FOR TOMORROW South America - Japan U-21 Football Exchange Programme, a social exchange event for the local Japanese community took place on Saturday 24 March.
With the support of the Embassy of Japan in Paraguay, 44 students from the Japanese Language School in Asunción and four students from the Asunción Japanese School participated the event, spending time with U-21 Japan National Team members and coaches, including Coach MORIYASU Hajime.
During the mini-games, kids were seen chasing the ball with great energy, while the coaches and players tried to keep up with their enthusiasm. When the players spoke to the kids in Spanish, the kids reacted with great joy, and the event has fulfilled its cause, concluding in great success. The local kids seemed a little nervous at first, but towards the end of the event, many of them were seen sharing laughters and holding conversations with the players.
Day five of the Football Exchange Programme saw the final two matches played, and the undefeated U-21 Chile National Team won the title with three wins. U-21 Japan National Team finished fourth with a win and two loses.
The results of the matches played were as follow:
Match #1: U-21 Chile National Team 1-0 (0-0) U-21 Venezuela National Team
Match #2: U-21 Paraguay National Team 2-1 (0-0) U-21 Japan National Team
Mika Nishijima, Mika Yamamoto (Representatives of the Japanese community in Paraguay)
We are truly grateful to be given the opportunity to participate in the football clinic. The kids were looking forward for this clinic and they were able to obtain great experience from it. The smiles and laughter of the kids left a strong impression. As a Nikkei (Japanese descent), we grew up sharing two cultures, Japanese and Paraguayan, but at the same time we have very limited opportunities to experience the Japanese culture in first hand. So this becomes an important experience for the kids, and I think they would remember the event as precious memories. With this event, I hope football becomes more popular among the local Japanese community, and we hope to pass on the experience to the next generation. I am dreaming that one day a player from the Japanese community in Paraguay will become a member of the Japan National Team.
Michael Sanchez, Competition Management Director (Paraguayan Football Association)
This event presented us with great challenges, but we did our best to successfully conduct the event. All matches played showcased high level competitions, and the crowds loved the action. We utilised many media platforms to promote the event, and as a result many people recognised the event as an exchange programme for the generations participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We hope that governments of the South American counties would pursue such events to carry out their International Contribution programme through sports. All of us, including the coach and the chairman, have been looking forward to participate in this programme. Ever since the details of the programme were set in stone, our Chairman had been showing great support to conduct the events. We are truly honoured to host the programme, and we are very thankful to be given the opportunity. The Girls Festival was a great event as well. It was a very moving sight watching kids who has never played football, kicking the ball with great joy on their face. We hope that these seeds will grow in the future. And we must continue to provide them the opportunity to grow, through festivals like this. I believe our efforts will contribute to the growth and development of women’s football in Paraguay.
What is SPORT FOR TOMORROW?
"SPORT FOR TOMORROW" is an international sports contribution program which is propelled by the Japanese government, taking place between 2014 and 2020. It originated from the words of the Prime Minister of Japan, ABE Shinzo, at the IOC meeting when Tokyo was elected as host city of 2020 Summer Olympics. The program’s main purpose is to convey the value of sports and expand the Olympic/Paralympic movement to all generations, across 100+ nations and 10 million+ people.
- 2018/03/25 Girls Festival was held at SPORT FOR TOMORROW South America- Japan U-21 Football Exchange Programme
- 2018/03/24 A visit to the Embassy was made and the pre-event seminar for the Girls-Festival took place during SPORT FOR TOMORROW South America- Japan U-21 Football Exchange Programme
- 2018/01/30 South America - Japan U-21 Football Exchange Program will take place in Paraguay as part of the international sports contribution program "SPORT FOR TOMORROW”
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