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

15 January 2016

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

For the "JFA Reconstruction Festival in Sanriku Miyako" to be held on 5 December, I arrived in the city a day before the event. As the area was seeing the light snowfalls, the Japan Football Association (JFA), Iwate Prefecture Football Association and teams from the northern area of the coast gathered to have a meeting and social gathering. On the day, General Secretary HARA Hiromi and other JFA staff had a time to hear from people living in the devastated area about the current situation.

Even now, four years and eight months from the disaster, people have not been allowed to live in the tsunami-hit coastal area, instead living in temporary housing such as Greenpia Sanriku Miyako. Although public housing and new houses have started to be built in some places that finished upland creation and embankment, even citizens who determined the new living district can move there only after April this year.

There are still a lot of people who do not know where to live. They shared the stories with me about their issues on the training environment at kids sports clubs and junior high school clubs and the ongoing low birth rate as well as various struggles they are facing like reconstruction support is hard to reach the northern coastal area. It was stunning the reconstruction has made little progress, and at the same time I strongly felt that we need to keep up the support.

A total of 363 participants joined the festival on 5th, including 65 kids from coastal area's 11 teams and lower graders of elementary school students, 171 upper graders of elementary school students, coaches, parents and kids sports clubs' alumni. Supported by Tohoku's national training centre coach MIYAKO Shuichi, the participants enjoyed an icebreaking game, a ball-feeling game and a football match. Children seemed serious while listening to coach's instruction and played aggressively.

In the afternoon, a match between adults (coaches and parents) and children was held in order to make it enjoyable for the parents, too. I was timing the finish as seeing how the grows-ups got tired, but surprisingly they aggressively scored a goal and kept moving for two hours. It was like they are relieving their daily stress. A futsal game was originally scheduled with JFA staff after the session, but it got cancelled, as a matter of course. We were able to share an enjoyable time with others. Let's keep it up this year as well!

At that night, a social gathering took place with coaches from southern coast teams, turning out to be a very meaningful party as we talked about the reconstruction and football coaching and nurturing.

On 12th, I gave a speech on "Involvement of Parents" at Nakano FC in Sendai, Miyagi. I spoke about the development of Japanese football, the characteristics of children's growth and development, coaching theory "how to nurture independent players," and the importance of support and involvement by parents. At a following get-together, I was able to listen to parent’s opinions as well. That was very informative.

On 13th, a friendly match was held between Miyagi Prefecture's Natori City Fujigaoka Elementary School's sports club and Yuriage SSS. Each category – lower graders, upper graders and adults – was playing in a good atmosphere. Yuriage Elementary School, which had devastating Tsunami, is still using Fujigaoka Elementary School's field. Courtesy of Fujigaoka SSS, they kept having friendlies since the disaster. I felt the support from the local team is significant for Yuriage SSS, who do not have a fixed practising field.

In the afternoon, I moved to Watari town and had a look at a friendly between Watari SSS and Nakano FC. Football activities were very active this Saturday and Sunday as always.

On 16th, the 2015's final Iwaki District's training centre U-13 took place at Chuodai Kita Junior High School in Iwaki, Fukushima. At a face-to-face passing drill in the warm-up, the players tried to keep hard-working when training quality of passes and controlling, timing of moving and turning. And then, the kids had a 4-on-2 and a 2-on-2 with 2S game to go through accuracy of passing and controlling before playing a 7-on-7 with goalkeepers at the end.

It had been a long time since I coached the Class 3 children. I instructed those same kids in the Class 4 of the last training centre activity, and they have grown and become stronger. With a good understanding by Chuodai Kita Junior High School, the club's players did not need to care about ground-keeping after training. Thanks to that support, they came to fully use the time for training. I want the players to work out their daily training, always keeping "accuracy" in mind.

On 19th, a football clinic was held for 50 junior high school students at Sendai Municipal Oritate Junior High School as part of Japan Professional Football Association's interacting activity. On the afternoon of 19th, I moved to Towa Ground in Tome and held an instructor's "refresh" workshop. My role was an instructor and demonstrating skills on the pitch with support by local Hibiki High School football club.

The workout included a passing and controlling drill and a 4-on-2 possession exercise. I gave a lecture on "Expected Player Development" in a discussion style with some video footage. Everyone concentrated on the lecture even with fatigue from a long trip. The following day on 20th had coaching practice. The participants actively called out to children and tried to make it an enjoyable circumstance. The children’s saying "we want to play more" is the proof.

In 2015, no charity match was held, but children seem happy about this kind of activity keeping on. I think it was good that we had instructor's workshop for teaching kids in the affected area. For people who cannot visit the area, for the disaster not to be faded, that is a good thing.

Before the workshop, I visited the devastated area with the coaches. Someone said, "it's been five years, but it's still been like this." They were astonished by the situation where the reconstruction has made little progress. I hope we can continue our work in 2016 as well.

23rd was a holiday, and I showed up at Sendai City Fukumuro SSS after so long. That day was their "last day of kicking" event of 2015. The club's practice was held only on weekends, but now they have restarted Thursday practice, too. The futsal goal and barn donated by Vegalta Sendai citizen supporters group are now being used with gratitude. After the practice, children and their parents cleaned up the site.

On 27th, I attended a charity futsal fund-raising presentation ceremony hosted by cross-industrial gathering organisation FOREST (former Morino Miyako Cross-industrial Gathering). The gathering is held bimonthly on the theme of "Reconstruction Support with Joy," and it was the fifth event. The participation fee for the charity futsal is 1000 yen. After they take out the facility charge, the rest is donated to the reconstruction support project. I'm truly grateful for people's continuous warm support.

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