寄付・募金・ボランティアのセーブ・ザ・チルドレン・ジャパン

Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami Emergency response and recovery program

Gifts from Professional Soccer Players: A Soccer Ball Presentation Ceremony at Kamaishi Nursery School (January 17, 2014)

A soccer ball presentation ceremony was held at Kamaishi Nursery School on January 7, 2014. At this ceremony, the children enjoyed interacting with a professional soccer player. Shuuto Yamamoto, who is from Iwate Prefecture and is currently playing in the J-League, came to the event. The children waited expectantly with a feeling of exhilaration on the morning of his arrival. “A soccer player is coming!”

 

Adidas Japan, which is a partner company of Save the Children Japan (SCJ), held the “after the match, project” as part of their efforts to support reconstruction in the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. This project was conducted at the “Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Program 2013 J-League Special Match” held at the National Stadium in June 2013. The “after the match, project” is a new charity activity to transform the energetic playing of players into presents, under the concept of “a charity project that begins after the end of the match.” As a result, a total of 279 soccer balls, to match the 279 sprints performed by the 10 players signed with Adidas who participated on the day, were donated through SCJ to gakudo (after-school programs), nursery schools and kindergartens in Miyagi Prefecture as well as in Iwate Prefecture (Yamada Town, Kamaishi City and Rikuzentakata City). A presentation ceremony was held at Kamaishi Nursery School, which was one of the recipients of this donation.

football1

The children, who were nervous to meet a professional soccer player for the first time, listened intently to speeches from the principal of the nursery school and Mr. Yamamoto. After this, they expressed their gratitude with a big “Thank you” to Mr. Yamamoto and the Adidas Japan staff.

football2

Children together with Shuuto Yamamoto who they are meeting for the first time.

Mr. Yamamoto said to the shy children, “Play together with your friends using this ball!”

 

“Does anyone have any questions?” “YES!” Many children raised their hands!

 

football3

Child:                    How can I become good at soccer?

Yamamoto:           The secret to becoming a soccer player is to enjoy soccer and to try your absolute hardest in practice.

Child:                    What is your favorite pattern of ball?

Yamamoto:           I really like the pattern on the ball we have presented to you today.

Child:                    How can I become a soccer player?

Yamamoto:           If you watch a lot of the J-League, look at my playing and practice loads, you can become a soccer player!

Child:                    Where did you go to elementary school? (It seems the 5-year-old children who will enter first grade this year were interested in which elementary school Mr. Yamamoto attended.)

Yamamoto:           I attended Kitamatsuzono Elementary School in Morioka City. Does anyone here know that school? I started playing soccer in my fifth grade of elementary school.

Child:                    What kind of food do you like?

Yamamoto:           I love yaki-niku (grilled meat), so I always eat a lot of that. What is your favorite food?

Child:                    Melon (His friend sitting next to him answered “banana”.)

 

Mr. Yamamoto also asked some of the children questions. There were many children who wanted to ask yet more questions, but next was a fun game with Mr. Yamamoto.

football4

The 4-year-old class children practiced basic passing. Can they pass skillfully on their first time?

football5

The 5-year-old class children who were cheering them on by the stage lifted their spirits greatly. “GO FOR IT!” Mr. Yamamoto also praised the children. “You did very well!”

 

Next, it was the turn of the 5-year-old class children! “Shoot to Shuuto!” The children became highly motivated by the cheers of their friends! “SHOOT!” “GO FOR IT!”

football6

The children played “magic ball shooting” by aiming at Mr. Yamamoto. The well-controlled shots of the children surprised Mr. Yamamoto!

football7

He scored a goal! He was happy with his friends!

football8

There was a flood of children wanting to practice one-on-one with Mr. Yamamoto!

The children all enjoyed a fun time. “I wanted to play more!” “I want him to come again!”

football9

This was a wonderful event for the children and allowed them to interact directly with a professional soccer player, learn skills and ask questions. SCJ will continue to support the hopes and dreams of children in the future.