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JFA Tohoku Reconstruction Support Project - November 2015 Report by TEGURAMORI Hiroshi, national training centre coach

09 December 2015

JFA Tohoku Reconstruction Support Project - November 2015 Report by TEGURAMORI Hiroshi, national training centre coach

On 3 November, the Lions Cup U-10 Futsal Tournament was held at Takagi-no-mori Athletic Park Multi-purpose Field in Higashi-matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture. Before the disaster, the tournament was named as "Kanpo-no-yado Futsal Tournament", but due to the tsunami, Kanpo-no-yado could not continue their business operation and was dismantled without a new buyer being found. The tournament got shut down as well.

After four years and eight months since the disaster, the tournament came back with the new name of "the Lions Cup U-10 Futsal Tournament". The championship "Lions" flag once was lost in the Tsunami but was miraculously found in the mud in the Tona area in the Nobiru district.

Another tournament for mothers is held together with the Lions Cup for kids under 10 years old, and this time I had an opportunity to play as a helper for one of the participating mothers’ teams, Hirobuchi SSS, because they did not have enough players on their roster. All those women enjoy playing themselves as they also enthusiastically support children. The fun yet intense competitions by those mothers, being so as much as the kids’ tournament, were very impressive. You can see the way the community is coming back from the disaster in that kind of event. I already start looking forward to coming back and seeing it again next year.

Takagi-no-mori Athletic Park still has temporary houses remaining on its premises. The 18-hall park golf course was just about to open its business when the disaster happened. After that, there were two different opinions, which were to build temporary housing on the park golf course or on the multi-purpose field. Eventually, they decided on keeping the field, partly because this futsal tournament was decided to be held again. Someone in the city office said to me that he thought they made the right decision. While seeing all the kids’ smiles, I could not help agreeing with it.

On 8 November, they held "JFA Reconstruction Support Festival 2015" at Matsushima Football Centre. The event was for people in the Sennan district. Although it rained unfortunately, we all spent a wonderful time together.

Three days later, 11 November, I had an opportunity to speak to the audience of 100 consisting of teachers, school staff, children and parents gathering at Ishinomaki City Sumiyoshi Junior High School Gymnasium. It was part of a joint PTA meeting of three schools in the Sumiyoshi district in Ishinomaki, Miyagi, and I gave a speech under the theme of "For the development of football in Japan. Believing the power of dreaming".

Another public speaking opportunity was given to me on 21 November at Natori Culture Hall for the Natori City Sports Association. About 120 local sport coaches, parents, children and others were there, while the theme for the event was "How to develop sports in communities". I talked about the progress of the reconstruction support and the future direction of football in Japan. Children’s smiles can help adults work harder and eventually communities be more active. In order to make that happen, each family needs to be well back on their feet and communities need to come back together including the reconstruction of infrastructure.

It is also important for children to have and maintain a dream. The society and the environment around them are supposed to help them dream. We need to be always aware that "we are right by children’s future." With understanding those, we need to keep standing by children’s side. The seminar turned out to be a good opportunity to be reminded of that.

The JFA Reconstruction Support Festival 2015 was again held this time at Iwaki Green Field in Iwaki City on 22 November. The event was rather short from 9 a.m. to 1:30 pm. Under the clear blue sky, 139 kids from 1st graders to 6th graders and 57 coaches and parents made the event very enjoyable one. The football clinic part included ball-feeling game, dribbling drills and we let kids separated by grades and have games in the end.

Using two half-sized pitches, the team of each grade’s 15 players played against the team of 10 adults. As children went all out against adults, fathers and mothers also cooperated well by playing earnestly to make those games entertaining. Maybe they suffer from sore legs the next day, but it was good that nobody injured during the activities. I would like to thank them all and all the coaches of the Iwaki district as well for supporting the event.

On 23 November, I visited the match played between the northern and southern areas of the Iwaki district training centre. The district is long from north to south, so usually the training centre has two separate activities in the north and south. Nakoso City Field, where the match was played, was used as a dumping place for the debris from the disaster. After three years, it finally started being used again as an athletic field last year. The field has a lighting facility and the size of approximately three regular-sized football pitches. It is a valuable facility for the people in the Nakoso district, as they also play baseball and softball there. HANADA Kunishiro, president of the Iwaki Football Association, made an appearance for the kids who played so hard with dirt all over their kits.

A charity futsal event was held in the evening of 23 at Nagamachi FUT MESSE in Sendai, Miyagi. The event is designed to let people "enjoy supporting reconstruction", and started in March this year, subsequent events taking place in every odd-numbered month. This time was the fifth and last in this year. The variety of participants, men and women, young and old, of many different occupations, came from both inside and outside Miyagi Prefectures to support the good cause. It was all fun without any major injury. Although the reconstruction has long way to go, the organiser said they would keep holding the event next year.

On 26 November, I joined the training of Kama SSS at Kadowaki Junior High School Gymnasium in Ishinomaki, Miyagi. 17 kids attended. The team requested me to lead passing and controlling drills and also possession drills, so we did triangle passing and 4-on-2. The SSS practise at Okaido Elementary School on Tuesdays, at Kama Elementary School on Wednesday, and at Kadowaki Junior High School on Thursdays, all different each day. This day’s practice was also limited time-wise to 90 minutes from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. as the gym had to be shared with another sport team. But the kids focused well and showed their best in the training.

Another reconstruction support event was held on 28 November at Jyurokunuma Park in Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture, intended for kids who do not belong to the training centre in the northern part of the prefecture. JFA Tohoku Youth Director YAMAZAKI Shigeo and JFA National Training Centre Coach MIYAKO Syuichi and I had a great workout with about 100 kids. Starting with an icebreaking game, ball feeling drill and 1-on-1, we divided the kids into two groups by grades for matches in the end. Using both kids-sized goals and also goals made with cones, everyone played hard, getting along nicely with his teammates.

After all the activities finished, they were still so active and full of energy, saying "It was fun!" or "Are we done already?" After 5 p.m., Mr. Yamazaki gave a lecture on "Sought-after players and how to develop them" to the coaches in the region. The lecture used videos and discussions to enable honest information sharing. The networking party after the lecture was also very meaningful. The next day, I visited the same place for the region’s friendship games. Thankfully, we had beautiful weather on both days.

On the last day of the month, I visited "Jibun Zukuri Yume Kyoshitsu (meaning a lecture to create your own dream and future)" at Nankodai-higashi Elementary School in Sendai and there I talked about my childhood, experiences in the past, what I did to make my dream come true and also the reconstruction support work that I currently do. All kids listened to me with great focus. They also talked about their dreams, and the lecture was full of hopes for a bright future.

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