【Report】7th BreakTalks “Bouldering for Everyone” – Special Event for International Women’s Day (March 8, 2023)

On March 8th, we hosted the 7th BreakTalks with Sumitomo Corporation (*1) as a special event for International Women’s Day. We invited professional climber Mr. Kai Harada as a speaker, a representative of Japan in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, whom Sumitomo sponsors. Within this event we welcomed nineteen participants.

Mr. Harada won the bouldering event at the 2018 World Championships and is a leading climber in Japan, representing the country in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He believes in “Overcoming Oneself” and trains daily. He also promotes and shares his passion for climbing through various media.

The event began with a talk session between Mr. Harada and moderator Orime from S.C.P. Japan. Mr. Harada began by explaining that bouldering is one of three disciplines in sports climbing, in which one climbs walls between 4 and 5 meters in height, using only their body, without any equipment.

When Mr. Harada was young, he happened to stop by at a climbing facility. He was immediately drawn to the sport as he saw that everyone, regardless of gender or age, was enjoying themselves. “Before competitions, what we athletes do is to discuss the climbing routes together. I think this sums up what the sport is all about. It’s really special.”

Climbing was more than just a sport to Mr. Harada, who was raised in a single-parent household. He says the climbing got him through the tough period. “It was hard growing up, but I always looked forward to practicing with my friends at the gym. I have been actively working with non-profit organizations that support children, because I want to give the same opportunities to other young people.”

Interestingly, climbing is said to be a sport where the difference between men and women is not felt as much. “It is often the case that women perform better than men on the same climbing challenge,” says Mr. Harada. Climbing seems like a good sport that women can challenge themselves.

After the talk, two panellists joined the discussion; Ms. Yui Shirai, who is organizing climbing outreach activities for people with disabilities at Monkey Magic, and Ms. Yuiko Inoue, who oversees a sports program for girls with disabilities at S.C.P. Japan.

With the motto “We can overcome invisible walls,” Monkey Magic started as a climbing school for people with visual impairments. They introduced their unique method called “HKK” for conveying the position of the holds to visually impaired climbers. They now welcome participants with other disabilities as well.

Meanwhile, Ms. Inoue said it’s not always easy for girls with disabilities to participate in sports. “When offering sports classes for children with disabilities (for both genders), we have overwhelmingly more boys than girls. We thought we’d need a different way to reach out to girls.”  S.C.P. Japan’s “Find Fun” sports program was then designed for girls with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and it has been successful with about ten participants attending each time.

Mr. Harada also shared that climbing is a sport where physical abilities or gender of the athlete does not define their performance. “Climbing provides a space where individuals can challenge themselves while also supporting and helping each other.”

Concluding the event, all agreed on the importance of providing both a safe and enjoyable space for physical activity, where individuals can challenge themselves while also feeling supported.

S.C.P. Japan aims to create a platform for diversity and inclusivity through BreakTalks, inviting various guests and showcasing different activities.

This BreakTalks event was made possible through the support of Sumitomo Corporation. A member of Sumitomo’s 100SEED program(*2), which encourages social entrepreneurship, kindly provided assistance for S.C.P. Japan and that is how it started.

■ For details on the support provided to S.C.P. Japan by Sumitomo Corporation’s pro bono team, please click here (Japanese):

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr. Harada, Ms. Shirai, Sumitomo Corporation, the sign language interpreters, and all the participants.

*1 Since 2018, Sumitomo Corporation has been sponsoring the Japan Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Association as a “gold sponsor”. In 2019, they signed a sponsorship contract with Mr. Kai Harada.

Sport Climbing | Sumitomo Corporation: https://www.sumitomocorp.com/ja/jp/special/climbing

*2 Sumitomo Corporation’s “100SEED” is a social contribution program in which Sumitomo Corporation group employees from around the world engage in dialogue and actively participate to address educational challenges in their respective local communities under the theme of “quality education.”

【Report】6th BreakTalks “Ethical Choices” (September 22, 2022)

S.C.P. Japan held its sixth BreakTalks event on Thursday, September 22, 2022. We welcomed Mr. Tetsuji Inaba as a speaker, who gave a talk on “Ethical Choices.”

Mr. Inaba dropped out of Tokyo University after attending the prestigious Kaisei High School and experienced a period of social withdrawal. He later used the experience to work for a HR company in Saison Group where he was responsible for NPO collaboration projects. He has since worked for Hitachi Group in new business development, as well as starting a company that supports youth careers, and as a HR consultant.  He has also worked for Japan’s largest human resources and HR media company, managing their HR community group.

He now runs an ethical select shop “Ethical-Ya” in Kamakura, as well as being the editor-in-chief of “Circular HR,” a media outlet focused on circular economy, human resources, and work styles. He also serves as a board member of NPO Gewel, which promotes diversity and inclusion, and as a facilitator for World Cafe and OST. He is active in the social enterprise sector, focusing on ethical business. He is hoping to change the way people and society interact through business, producing ethical fashion shows and incubating social enterprises.

The Breaktalk event began with Orime from S.C.P. Japan briefly sharing the reason on why the topic should be discussed, then Mr. Inaba gave the talk, followed by Q&As.

What is Ethical?

Mr. Inaba began by asking, “What is ethical?” He said the reason why we need to think about this now is because the structure of society has changed. “In the past, mass production, mass consumption, and mass disposal were the norm. We made a lot, used a lot, and threw away a lot. The logic also applied to the living. Livestock farming has moved away from humane methods and became industrialized, focusing solely on productivity and profit. Climate change is largely caused by deforestation and arrogant human behaviour. The time has come to change the way we do things, to protect the limited natural resources. We may be at a last turning point towards a sustainable future.”

SDGs and sustainability

You may have known that Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been set by the United Nations, as many companies have recently been promoting these targets. Not many people are aware, however, that the UN had previously set Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The difference between the two is that MDGs are more focused on how developed countries solve the problems of developing countries, while SDGs are about everyone being an equal stakeholder in achieving a more sustainable future.

What is the difference between “sustainable” and “ethical”?

While many people confuse these two words, Mr. Inaba points out that there are clear differences. “Sustainability” is, so to speak, the hard aspect. It is a mechanism for creating a better society, a system or business model in the way society works. On the other hand, “ethical” is the soft aspect. It is a code of conduct based on ethics, or values.

Mr. Inaba introduced an example of the Amish in the United States. The Amish are known to deliberately distance themselves from technology and still live the way they had lived hundreds of years ago. Their lifestyle is much more sustainable than the rest of the society. So, would it mean, we should all live like the Amish, going back to the Edo period? ”No,” says Mr. Inaba. What we can learn from them, he says, is the importance of balancing our actions considering the environment, science, technology, and culture. As it is increasingly becoming evident that we cannot carry on living the way we are, we must now think about how we can transition to a sustainable future.

Mr. Inaba says, if we create a mechanism to make a more sustainable future, being ethical is the decision we all must make as individuals. It is about our own ways of being, how we relate to others and society, which is unique for each person.

“There are so many things to think about here, even a single mobile phone or computer that we use every day. Take a nice piece of clothing you just bought, for example. Nice, it may be, but it could have been produced in a sewing factory in Bangladesh, where workers are suffering under the most inhumane working conditions, just like the “Rana Plaza tragedy(*1)”.  Or the apparel store clerk you bought that from may be working long hours, barely earning minimum wage. Things are never simple in this day and age. Everything is interconnected.”

Mr. Inaba cited the words of Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia.

“If you know about the problems happening in the world but do nothing about it, you become part of the problem. But if you have the courage to take action, you become part of the solution.”

Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia

*1 “Rana Plaza tragedy: On April 24, 2013, a commercial building called “Rana Plaza” collapsed in Savar, about 20 kilometers northwest of the capital Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is known worldwide as the largest incident related to the sewing industry. The number of people who died in the collapse of the building was over 1,100. The number of injured was over 2,500, and the number of missing was over 500. The cause of the collapse was due to the vibration of the sewing machine and the generator, and there were cracks and suspension orders had been served, but the owner of the building continued operations, resulting in the loss of many lives that should have been protected. Illegal expansion is also considered one of the causes.

Don’t be afraid of the change

Being ethical is not the same as being environmentally friendly, Mr. Inaba emphasized. “It’s a question of how you live your life, to create a better future. The idea is to decide what kind of future you want to create, based on your own value, and take responsibility for the changes that may come with it.”

He gave an example from an ethical fashion show he has produced.

A woman may choose to wear vegan fashion, such as eco-fur, or kapok. There may be many reasons why she has chosen vegan fashion. It could be animal welfare, health, or the environment. Some may argue, however, that rejecting meat and fur outright is nonsense as we humans are also part of the same ecosystem. Another woman may choose to wear sheepskin garment. She may be doing so to support African countries where they are produced. In this case, she has chosen the products for the cause of “international cooperation”, but this goes directly against other causes like “veganism” or “supporting local produce”. This is just one example of conflicting values.

The thing is that these women are simply acting according to their own values. Although ideas appear to be conflicting, they don’t need to be one way or the other. The purpose of creating a better future is the common ground here, despite seemingly opposite values. Contradictory values can co-exist, by searching for compromises and better solutions, as we live in an intricate interconnectivity of the world today.

Mr. Inaba says that “ethical” is a code of conduct that anyone can follow, and there is no such thing as wrong choice. “It is about knowing how things are connected around you and make choices that lead to a better future and social good.”

By understanding the conflict and thinking about ways to improve it, we can create a better system, where everyone can find a position that they are happy with.


Through this lecture and discussion, everyone could gain insights on how to think about making “ethical choices” and obtain tips on how to do so. We hope for a better future, with all of us deciding on our own values and taking actions toward the vision.

SCP Japan will continue introducing a variety of guests and activities through BreakTalks and create a place where diverse people can gather, and opportunities to think about a more diverse and inclusive society.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr. Inaba. We would also like to thank the staff organizing the event, the sign language interpreters, and all the participants.

【Report】5th BreakTalks “Trans Woman and Sports Fields” (June 29, 2022) 

On Wednesday, June 29, S.C.P Japan held a fifth BreakTalks. This time, we invited Ms. Shuna Matsumoto, who has been working as an athletic performance coach in Y.S.C.C Yokohama (as of June 2022), as our guest speaker. She was born in Germany, and after learning about coaching in Germany and the United States, she has been a track and field coach as well as an athletic performance coach for over 20 years. In 2020, she  publicly came out as a trans woman (*1).

This time during BreakTalks, Ms. Shuna shared with us her experiences and perspectives, working life, and things that are important in the sports fields and society for a while. Her story made everyone discuss a few topics such as “Transgender and Sports” and “Transgender and Society.”

Before the guest talk, Orime, a member of S.C.P Japan, explained the current situations/facts and issues related to “Trans women and Sports Field.”

In November 2021, the IOC announced a new framework related to the participation of  transgender athletes in sports: “IOC Framework on Fairness, Inclusion, and Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Sex Variations.” In this framework, the IOC stated that there would be no regulations that would define the common criteria for gender categories for each sport with regard to the participation of athletes in competitions. This new framework also stated that each sport and its governing body would determine the criteria, taking into account the nature of each sport. As an example, the recent new rule of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) on the participation of transgender people was presented, which resulted in the limitation of the participation of transgender women in the women’s category.

In addition, we touched on the participation of LGBTQ+ (*2) people whose sports skills are at a general level. Due to the lack of sufficient knowledge about LGBTQ+ individuals and the structure and mechanics of sports based on gender binary, LGBTQ+ youth, especially nonbinary (*3) youth, there have been reports of lower participation in sports.

Looking at these facts, we can say that the participation of LGBTQ+ people in sports still has a lot of challenges. On the other hand, the Tokyo Olympics not only featured 222 LGBTQ+ athletes (as of August 2021), but Laurel Hubbard became the first transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics in the gender category to that which they identify with.

Hubbard’s participation in the Tokyo Olympics visualized transgender people, as she became a role model for young people, bringing diverse communication among sports fields and society. Through the game, LGBTQ+ athletes, including Hubbard, conveyed a lot of messages for the future of the sporting world and youth. 

Afterward, Torizuka, who has been working for S.C.P. Japan as an intern, interviewed the guest speaker, Shuna Matsumoto, about her experiences, thoughts, and feelings that led her to officially come out as a transwoman, as well as things that she would like to see in today’s society and sports world.

*1 Transgender is a term that refers to people who feel a discrepancy between the sex they were born with and the sex they self-identify. Among them, people who wish to be closer to their true gender both physically and mentally are called transsexuals. Trans women mean transgender, including transsexual, whose physicality as male and their gender identity as female do not match.

*2 LGBTQ+ takes the initials that stand for Lesbian (a person who identifies as a woman or feels a connection to womanhood who is attracted to women.), Gay (a person who identifies as a man or feels a connection to manhood who is attracted to men), Bisexual (a person who is attracted to two or more gender identities), Transgender (a person whose gender identity does not match their sex assigned at birth.), Queer (a person whose gender identity or sexual orientation does not correspond to established ideas of majority), Questioning (a person who does not know, cannot decide, or does not decide their sexual orientation or gender identity), and + (plus) represents the diverse range of sexualities and gender identities that do not fit into the LGBTQ categories listed above. 

*3 Nonbinary refers to a person who does not identify their gender within the binary gender system (i.e. woman/man).

Ms. Shuna’s Sports and Coaching Experiences

“When I was 12, I started track and field in Germany, where I spent my childhood. As Germany has good coaching licensing systems, clubs whose coaches have the license earn high reputations, which leads to an increase in club membership, and some areas offer subsidies for coaches with the license, teams are active to develop coaches. 

Having played track and field in such a good environment, I worked as an assistant for coaches in the club that I belonged to from the age of 14. With a main coach, I earned coaching knowledge and skills through first-hand experiences in the club. After that, I studied coaching at Athletes’ Performance (now EXOS) in the United States. Several policies of the organization such as “training that never makes a difference between men and women” and “the focus on training a move rather than muscles” inspired me to study coaching there. I believe my duty and importance of coaching is to develop players I taught to a level in which the players can become coaches.”

The Process of Coming Out and the Reactions of People around Her

In my childhood, I was not really thinking about my gender identity (Gender identity: a person’s internal, deeply held sense of their gender. It doesn’t necessarily correspond to one’s physical structure.). That is partly because people around me naturally accepted my long hair and pretty, girlish face. My unestablished gender identity has changed to female as I grow up.  Having revealed my gender identity in Germany, I worked as a woman for a year. However, since I had not made big results in my work and I was facing many other challenges at the time, I gave up telling people around me about my gender identity. Then I moved to Japan in 2013. The new life in Japan was hard, but I noticed that I could be myself when wearing skirts. On the other hand, though I had been wearing makeup and nails for some time,  I was anxious about what everyone would think of me and lived my life always thinking of reasons for wearing makeup, such as using foundation to cover rough skin, so I could explain when I was asked about it. Even doing so, I still wanted to come out, and around the second year at Y.S.C.C Yokohama, I slowly began to live my life a little more openly by posting pictures on Instagram that everyone would realize that I’m a transgender and by wearing more makeup than before.

While thinking about when to express my feelings at Y.S.C.C Yokohama, the head coach brought it up to me first, and the process naturally led me to come out. After that, the head coach explained to the club. I also learned later that the head coach had explained my gender identity to the players without my knowledge. The other male coaches at the club might be considerate of me and would not come in when I was changing in the locker room. Y.S.C.C. Yokohama has players with diverse backgrounds. Maybe that’s why I feel that the team is willing to accept people from all walks of life and not be critical or conservative with people, including me. ”

Transgender Athletes and Sports

“When I was doing track and field, I had no aversion to play as a male athlete. Even now, I have a desire to compete in the men’s category when I do athletics. In the mixed events in track and fields that I was working on, the number of events were different based on gender: decathlon for men and heptathlon for women. I prefer decathlon to heptathlon, for decathlon has more events and I am more used to it. I would like to participate in the decathlon as a female athlete, if possible. Also, in track and field, both men and women train together and work off the same training menus. So, I never felt uncomfortable about gender. In addition, while doing athletics, I never thought about my gender identity as I was so focused on the competition (This may be different from other transgender people).

I am openly transgender. Being a transgender does not prevent me from doing my job because I can compete as a coach regardless of gender thanks to my record as an athlete and coaching achievements to this day. On the other hand, athletes may not be able to continue competing due to the “gender” category, so trans athletes are in a really hard situation. However, we can change these situations in a lot of ways such as changing rules and establishing clear rules about gender categories.”

After the guest talk session in the first half, the second half was dedicated to participants’ interaction with each other through an active exchange of ideas and opinions.

Ms. Shuna left a comment saying, “LGBTQ+ people also live their lives naturally. If the people around them could accept the behavior of LGBTQ+ people as natural, without treating them differently because they are lesbians or transgender, and then discrimination against others would not arise.”

She also commented, “society sometimes puts restrictions on jobs that only women can do or men can do, but if people with abilities can get jobs regardless of gender, society will change. For example, in the profession of coaching, the training menu and methods do not differ between women and men. She also touched on the way she interacts with others, commenting, “When I teach kids in a club, professional athletes, athletes who have participated in the Paralympics and won medals, I always feel that I am teaching ‘athletes’regardless of disabilities or ages.”  

We would like to express our sincere thanks to the 15 participants from different backgrounds and to all those who were involved and supported the event.

We also would also like to extend a sincere and big thank you to Ms. Shuna for participating in this event and sharing her story and thoughts, with the volunteers, sign language interpreters, and all the participants.

【NEWS】At S.C.P Japan, an organization working towards an inclusive society through sports, we are pleased to announce the start of a new joint program “Financial Literacy x Empowerment of Female Athletes” with Nomura Holdings, Inc.

As the first step of this initiative, we held a seminar for about 40 members of a university women’s soccer team. This is a pilot session and we aim to develop a comprehensive empowerment program especially tailored for female athletes to achieve financial independence.

We are delighted to announce that S.C.P. Japan has entered into a partnership with Nomura Holdings, Inc. for the year 2022. Leveraging S.C.P. Japan’s strength of “sports” and Nomura HD’s strength of “financial literacy, diversity, equity and inclusion promotion”, we aim to “create a better future where everyone can be who they truly are”.

As a part of this collaborative project, we conduct a pilot program, a seminar on “life planning and money” for female university athletes. Financial independence is one of the important factors for women to live and enjoy their lives. Learning how to build assets in accordance with a life plan from an early age will help women to become financially independent.

Background of Partnership

“Financial independence” is an important element in the process of “empowerment” of an individual. However, according to a survey of active athletes, about 90% have financial concerns, and 75% have no experience of investment and asset building. More than half of them state ‘not knowing where to start” as the reason (according to a 2022 survey by Mynavi Athlete Career) [*1].

In addition, in the 2022 report of the “Gender Gap Report” published annually by the World Economic Forum, Japan was ranked 116th out of 146 countries. Gender equality in “economics” and “politics” has been a much discussed issue every year, but in the 2022 report, the score in “economics” went down (World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report 2022) [*2]. Women, who can be more strongly affected by life events such as pregnancy and childbirth, might need to adopt more diverse working patterns and plan their asset building more carefully.

In order for women to be independent and empowered with more life options, it is important to build assets while making effective use of the financial system.  S.C.P. Japan and Nomura HD will focus on the economic empowerment of young female athletes and create opportunities to learn about money.

*1 Survey on money for athletes: https://onl.bz/X5uU2Pc*

*2 Global Gender Gap Report: https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GGGR_2022.pdf

We held an online seminar on “life planning and money” for Juntendo University Women’s Football Team members!

On August 29th (Monday), as a kick-off for the project, an online seminar on “life planning and money” was held for Juntendo University football team members.

We were honored to welcome Ms. Eiko Otani, head of the Diversity & Inclusion Promotion Section, Nomura HD Sustainability Promotion Office, and Ms. Mari Iwazaki, also from the same section, as the speakers. The agenda was life planning and asset building for the next 20 years.

Students actively participated by answering questions using the voting function and writing their ideal life course on worksheets. Some were surprised to find that the life plan they envisioned would cost more than 100 million yen.

Some of the post-seminar comments read, “I realized the importance of money by calculating how much the life I want would cost in future.” and “I want to learn more about asset building, such as saving and investment, and I want to work hard so that I can make the ideal life course happen.”  It was a great opportunity for the students to think about their future, with more practical approach.

From this pilot session, SCP Japan and Nomura HD will continue to develop an empowerment program for young women through sports.

Comment from Nomura HD

“For women, it is very important to envision career and life plans from a young age and prepare for them, as this also leads to their financial independence. Financial literacy is crucial to live a fulfilling life and it is more so now than ever before. We would like to create an opportunity to introduce the subject first. Then it should lead to an environment where the knowledge is accessible for all.”

Click here to see the release from Nomura HD.


Comment from Mr Shimasaki Yu, Coach, Juntendo University Women’s Football Team

“I think this empowerment program was a good opportunity for female student athletes to think about life after graduation, with more reality. There aren’t many chances like this, to think about financial independence and life plans despite its importance. The idea of financial literacy seemed fresh, too. I would like to make more effort to help students grow into adults who can tackle social issues such as the pension debate and gender gap. Thank you for giving us this precious opportunity.”

【News】Celebrating #SafeSportDay! To create a safe sports environment for everyone, S.C.P. Japan launched a safeguarding project to protect human rights in sports. (August 8,2022)

S.C.P. Japan is delivering a safeguarding workshop for people working in sports organizations led by an international expert, who is part of the International Safeguards for Children in Sport Initiative.

S.C.P. Japan (Sport for Creating Pathways Japan) launched a safeguarding project, focusing on protecting children’s rights and human rights in sports for two consecutive years starting in 2022 until 2023 – funded by Sumitomo Life Health Foundation.

Extensive research shows that sports and physical education environments create a closed environment and can have unequal power relationships between coaches and players, and facilitators and participants. These situations enable violence, abuse, and harassment in sports to occur. Recently, sports-related organizations including the IOC, federations, and  grassroots community-based sports clubs are urged to have and operate a safeguarding policy in their organizations. The International Safeguards for Children in Sport Initiative established the annual  #SafeSportDay on August 8, to celebrate progress and advocate for the responsibilities of sports organizations to protect human rights and create safe sports environment.

In the first project year in 2022, we have provided a safeguarding workshop to leaders and staff of sport and sport for development organizations and developed a basic safeguarding workshop curriculum. In the following year, we plan to develop an advanced safeguarding workshop curriculum and deliver safeguarding workshops to the national sports federations, professional sports clubs, and community-based sports clubs at the grassroots level.

Launched our safeguarding workshop in sports

Providing a safeguarding workshop is our first program in this project. The workshop provides an opportunity for participants, working in sports organizations to learn the concept of safeguarding in sports. The workshop also aims to support participants in implementing safeguarding in their respective organizations. There are 25 participants attending three workshop sessions starting from July 20th. The facilitator is Dr. Lombe Mwambwa, who has an extensive experience providing  safeguarding education including teaching the IOC Safeguarding Officer in Sport Certificate course and is also a member of the International Safeguards for Children in Sport Initiative.

■Date and Time of the workshops:
・Introduction Session: Wednesday, July 20th 19:00-19:45 (GMT +9)
・First Session: Wednesday, July 27th, 19:00-21:00(GMT +9)
・Second Session: Monday, August 8th, 19:00-21:00(GMT +9)
・Third Session: Monday, August 22nd, 19:00-21:00(GMT +9)

■Facilitator: Dr. Lombe Mwambwa

Dr. Lombe Mwambwa researches and practices on issues of inequalities within  sport and onthe use of sport to address societal inequalities in Southern Africa. Dr. Mwambwa has worked on initiatives to raise awareness and advocacy capacity among athletes, officials, and governors of sports on the risks of non-accidental harm and in promoting safeguarding and protection practices. She has contributed to the development of safeguarding guiding principles and advised on toolkit development and organization policies for international sports organizations.

Message from Dr. Lombe Mwambwa to celebrate #SafeSportDay !

“Sport is a big part of our society, ensuring we keep it safe is a key commitment we should deliver on, so that children and adults can fully enjoy it. We shouldn’t look away when something goes wrong and we should be proactive and establish safeguarding as a core part of our sporting culture. Fair and inclusive sport has to be safe as well.”

S.C.P. Japan will continue to focus on promoting safeguarding in sports. 

S.C.P. Japan’s actions on safeguarding in sports
Safeguarding policy of S.C.P. Japan


Safeguarding workshop that S.C.P. Japan has supported

<JEF UNITED ICHIHARA CHIBA Academy (written in Japanese)>

<FAGIANO OKAYAMA Academy (written in Japanese)>

Information and Resources for your safeguarding action
・”International Safeguards for Children in Sport” website: https://safeinsport.org/
・THE EIGHT SAFEGUARDS: https://safeinsport.org/resources/#eight-safeguards
・English: https://safeinsport.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/International-Safeguards-for-Children-in-Sport-English.pdf
・Japanese: https://safeinsport.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/JAPANESE-Safeguarding-children-in-sport.pdf

【Report】Special Webinar for the  International Day of Sport for Development and Peace: “Sports Program and Game Based Approach”

On April 6th, we hosted a special online event for the “International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP),” with the cooperation of NGO(?) Coach Trust.

“International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP)” is set for the development and peace through sports, focusing on its power to drive social change, foster tolerance, diversity, and mutual understanding.

For this event, we invited Dr. Tsuyoshi Matsumoto, Associate Professor of Physical Education at the University of Tsukuba, who is also the Representative Director of NGO? Coach Trust, to talk about Game-Based Approaches (GBA). As GBA has also been adopted by S.C.P. Japan’s co-education exercise programs, he explained the concept and why they are in high demand recently, while using examples.

Dr. Matsumoto began by introducing the activities of Coach Trust, as well as GBA projects and another support project for retired racehorses.

Dr. Matsumoto then introduced the co-education exercise program of S.C.P. Japan, as another example. The message of this program is: teaching is not just one-way. Instead, everyone in the room – including the instructor – works together, through dialogue, to create a space where various individuals are appreciated and valued.

There are two types of co-education exercise programs in S.C.P. Japan. We introduced both – the “FutbolNet Program” in collaboration with the Barça Foundation and the “Happy Soccer Class / Happy Sports Class” organized by S.C.P. Japan.

In the “FutbolNet Program,” the activity is designed for all abilities, in order to better understand the concept of diversity, cooperation and mutual respect. In this program, the activity and dialogue is a set, so that participants will acquire social skills, such as communication.

Similarly, in the “Happy Soccer Class / Happy Sports Class,” we provide opportunities for participants to learn about children’s rights and gender issues through different games.

Dr. Matsumoto commented that S.C.P. Japan’s co-education exercise programs are  great examples of GBAs. He also shared the academic framework of GBAs.

GBAs is a global standard for coaching sports and is a theory that is widely used from grassroots programs to top athletes. In group sports such as rugby, it has been researched and practiced for some time under another term “Game Sense”.

In GBAs, learners (players) gain “awareness (tactical and social issues)” through the practice of “game format (modified / exaggerated game)”, and through that awareness, “the ability (practical and social skills)” is acquired. Then the cycle is repeated.

The “game format (modified / exaggerated game)” means that the instructor (facilitator) considers what “awareness (tactical and social issues)” is necessary for the learner (player) first, then modifies the game accordingly, before the learners play. If there are multiple facilitators, information will be shared among them. It is one of the roles of the facilitator to select the type of game.

In addition to the GBA cycle, he also gave some pointers for the instructors (facilitators) such as, “asking many questions” and “try giving less answers.” He also mentioned that  “the instructor often rushes to give answers, but it is important for them to be patient.”

Afterwards, many questions were raised during the the Q & A session, including questions from S.C.P. Japan members. Dr. Matsumoto answered each question carefully, taking time to understand the background information of the questioner.

He says that GBA is an instruction model in sports that is not only being used for coaching top athletes, but it also provides a place where people from various backgrounds can use in order to work on the game, cooperatively and independently.

Although there were more questions to be asked, the time had run out and the event ended with taking a group photo with all who participated. On April 6th, a digital campaign was held for “International Sports Day for Development and Peace,” in which people from all over the world expressed their intention to promote peace through sports, posting a photo of themselves holding white cards.

【Report】Second online collaboration event of Bridge Women’s Soccer Program and S.C.P. Japan “Designing my life ~how to authentically live your life ” Celebrating International Women’s Day (March 5th, 2022)

Continuing last year’s collaboration event, we, S.C.P. Japan, held an event with the Bridge Women’s Soccer Program on Saturday, March 5th, as a special event to celebrate International Women’s Day. The primary theme of this event was “Designing my life~how to authentically live your life”. We introduced the Bridge Women’s Soccer Program that will be presented at the 8th International Working Group (IWG) World Conference on Women and Sport. The event also included a session where a dialogue with the 35 participants took place – where they were divided into 7 groups with different topics.

Firstly Ms. Marika Fukuta, Ms. Satomi Yamaguchi, and Ms. Ayako Takematsu, who are the representatives of the Bridge Women’s Soccer Program, introduced the 8th IWG World Conference on Women and Sport, which will be held in New Zealand in November 2022. Additionally, they announced that the Bridge program was selected as one of the groups that will present at the conference. 

In 1994, Brighton, UK, held the first IWG World Conference on Women and Sport, aiming to“encourage women to join various fields within sports”. Eventually, the conference was set to be held once every four years in various continents. In the 7th conference in the Republic of Botswana in 2018, the chief of the Japan Sports Agency presented about Japanese sports policy. As such, it would be a great opportunity for the Bridge Women’s Soccer Program to present  at an international conference like this.

The concept of the Bridge Women’s Soccer Program is “being the bridge that connects Japan and the world using the tool ‘soccer’.” The Bridge Women’s Soccer Tour has been held for about 30 years, and the total number of participants is over 500. Additionally, the program has been supporting people who want to study abroad in the U.S. through women’s soccer, and around 50 people have achieved their studying abroad goals. The founders of the Bridge Women’s Soccer Program are Ms. Miyuki Kobayashi, and Ms. Kanae Haneishi. Ms. Kobayashi originally had been executing the women’s soccer tour abroad, and they added the “Bridge” portion by providing study abroad support as well when Ms. Haneishi joined the Program.

The Bridge’s motto is, “It doesn’t matter how well you play soccer. We support whoever has a strong will.” The Bridge believes that it is important to become independent through the study abroad experience. Therefore, in the process of preparation, they help people become independent, through the procedures like sending an application, and contacting the coach at the universities. 

Also, the “Bridge family”, who are those that have taken part in the tour or have studied abroad through the Bridge program, have been engaging in various activities regardless of their batches. For example, after the Kumamoto earthquake, the Bridge members visited and contributed via fundraising. They have also visited one of the women’s soccer clubs in high school in Okayama, and gave a presentation for the students about studying abroad and careers, which was valuable as many students in the countryside have fewer access to these information. 

In the Bridge family, there are many people who explore and expand their possibilities, and design their own life. Ms. Ayaki Shinada who studied abroad through the Bridge program is one of the examples. She is currently working as an Indigo Dyer using a Japanese traditional method, called Sho-Aizome, after her professional soccer career in Europe.

After introducing the 8th IWG World Conference on Women and Sport and the Bridge Women’s Soccer Program, we divided participants into 7 groups and had discussions about various topics. The group with the topic of “Childbirth, childcare, and my life”, shared their ideas about the importance of forgiving themselves for not being perfect, while sharing their struggles between childcare and jobs.

The group of “How do you make decisions in your life?”, mentioned that it was important to gather information and follow your heart when making your decision.

From the “LGBTQ+, Gender diversity” group, they shared the difficulty with living in the society where gender is seen as only as a dichotomy, either man or woman. 

Ms. Kobayashi, one of the founders of the Bridge program, rediscovered the importance of the Bridge family connection, saying, “I’m happy that this event came from the Bridge family. We’d like to continue being active.” Also, Ms. Haneishi, who is also the founder, emphasized the significance of celebrating International Women’s Day, saying, “It will take a long time to make a change. But we can change it someday by being patient, have a strong mind, and take action together.”

Finally, each participant wrote down a note about “what you can start from tomorrow to design and live your own authentic life”, and we took a group picture with their notes. We appreciate the opportunity to be able to talk about what we have been pondering about individually.

Last but not least, thank you so much to those who participated in this event, the Bridge members who cooperated, and those who volunteered as a sign language interpreter.

【Report】4th BreakTalks:『Theme: Mental Disorder』(Guest Speaker: Ms. Asuka Fujii) on January 28, 2022

On January 28th, we organized the 4th time of BreakTalks. The theme for this Break-Talks was “Mental Disorder.” Ms. Asuka Fujii, who writes lead paragraphs for S.C.P Japan mail magazine and is a person with mental disorder grade three, spoke about her tough and encouraging experiences of having a mental disorder. 

In the first half of the talk, Ms. Asuka Fujii talked about her personal story. Specifically, she taught us when she was diagnosed with depression, how she has tackled the disorder, what exactly bipolar disorder is, and why she decided to get a disability certificate, a special notebook that ensures handicapped people’s well-being. In the other half of the talk, Ms. Asuka Fujii answered a variety of questions from the participants.

Ms. Asuka Fujii’s Personal Story

Since the age of nine when she joined a local soccer club, Ms. Asuka Fujii always enjoyed playing soccer. However, from a certain point, she became less enthusiastic to play soccer. She, being described as diligent by a lot of people, was diagnosed with a mental disorder when she was seventeen. At the same time, she was interested in teaching soccer instead of playing it. Although she studied coaching in university and continued teaching soccer after graduation, she is now looking for a working life that suits her mental state.

While she went to school for a few days in the 12th grade, she quit her school and took a test that grants her a high school diploma. However, she experienced depression in her university and working life, so she was constantly out of her university and job. Later, she was diagnosed with recurrent depressive disorder and was hospitalized for once. In that mental condition, she obtained a grade three of mental disability certificate. 

In 2019, she quit her job again. After one week of examination at a hospital, her diagnosis changed from the recurrent depressive disorder to bipolar disorder.  Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that repeats mood shifts ranging from emotional highs to lows. In manic high periods, she becomes talkative and causes overwork. Immediately after the periods, she suffers from depressive periods. This kind of mood shift occurs once a year, but she can now control an intense mood shift with medicines. 

Present and the Future Life

She is not fully confident about working, and she is still on a journey of finding a way to embrace herself. According to her, as others’ support has helped her a lot, good relationships with family, hospitals, and counselors are indispensable. 

She also puts forward the use of social services. Welfare services let people fully rely on a variety of experts, which eliminates the need to complete everything by oneself. This is one of the reasons she decided to acquire a disability certificate. She also takes the advantage of rework services, transition support for handicapped people, and working day-care service. She is striving for the future in which she finds something she can grow as a person.

”It’s just a disorder”

In the last half of the BreakTalks, Ms. Asuka Fuji answered questions from participants. One of them asked how to explain depression to children. She shared her experience to answer the question. When she was diagnosed with depression, her parents said, “Depression is just a disorder. It is curable.” This simple response definitely made her feel better.

After the event, a lot of participants said that they are happy to learn about bipolar disorder, as it is rather a minor topic to talk about. Everyone expressed gratitude to her for sharing experiences.

S.C.P Japan continues to introduce people with a variety of  information and experiences through BreakTalks, which certainly brings an occasion to explore diversity and inclusive society.

Thank you for each participant with a unique background. We appreciate the time and dedication they offered.

Thank you also for Ms. Asuka Fujii, volunteers, and sign language interpreters, who all made this event special. We hope to work together in the near future.

【Event Report】We organized “Let’s Move! Run! Enjoy!” Program. (December 28, 2021)

On December 28, 2021, we held a program called “Let’s Move! Run! Enjoy!” at Kanazawa, Japan. This program belongs to “Special Event in Kanazawa,” executed on December 26 and December 28, 2021.

*The program is one of BreakTalks offline events. Please check out this link for more information about “BreakTalks.” 

<Time to Move!>

Children from kindergarten and elementary school exercised together before lunch. Though some of them were nervous at first, everyone enjoyed the time as soon as they started activities.
All children understood others’ backgrounds and ages, which led them to further help each other and be respectful.

<Lunch Time>

After the recreations, everyone had lunch. Okuwa-Kodomo Shokudo served an amazing lunch made with local food for everyone, including children, their parents, and staff. We, S.C. P Japan, learned that such an environment full of cooperation is indispensable to nurture children within a community. 

<Walking-Football Gathering>

After lunch time, we conducted “Walking-Football Gathering.”  “Walking-Football” has been known as an universal sport that all people, regardless of age, gender, physical disabilities, can engage themselves in. With approximately 30 people participating in this sports event, the program finished successfully.

Thank you to every participant, Okuwa-kodomo Shokudo, and volunteers who all contributed to bring such a great experience.

【Event Report】 “Nadeshiko Dream Event – Removing Limits from Girls’ Dreams” (December 26, 2021)

On Sunday, December 26, 2021, we held “Nadeshiko Dream Event – Removing Limits from Girls’ Dreams” in Kanazawa City. This program was a part of “S.C.P. Japan Special Events in Kanazawa”, taken place over two days on December 26th and 28th.

* It is an integrated part of BreakTalks event. Please click here for more details of “BreakTalks”.

Ms. Shigenami and Ms. Inoue, former Nadeshiko Leaguers and directors of S.C.P. Japan, facilitated the event and girls and their parents in the local area participated.

Facilitators shared their personal stories on “how they achieved their dreams” and “the challenges they faced as female athletes”. They also told participants about “Being confident in who you are” and “the importance of not comparing yourself with others”.

Following the lecture, Q&A session was held and they exchanged opinions with the participants.

<Post Event Feedback>

In order to improve the program, we asked the participants to provide us feedback after the event. You can check the results below.

We will continue to support children’s dreams, by working with others to ensure that they won’t be prevented from achieving their dreams because of their genders, and that they can make life choices with confidence in who they are.

We would like to thank Geminis Football Club for their cooperation in holding the event. We would also like to thank the children who participated, and all the parents.