17 Aug. 2012 - 11,000 Gather in Tokyo for Instruction by Athletes in Sport Skills and Values during Kids Festa
Tokyo 2020 added to Japan’s deeply rooted sporting culture by arranging for Olympic medallists and other world-class athletes to instruct youths in the skills and values of sport during the Kids Jamboree in Marunouchi in downtown Tokyo between 14 and 16 August. The fun and educational experience gave new momentum to Tokyo 2020’s goal of staging a dynamic Games that would solidify the Olympic Values among a new generation of young people not only in Japan but across the globe.
Headlining the Festa were Olympians such as Atlanta 1996 Games Bronze and Sydney 2000 Games Silver medallist marathoner Erick Wainaina from Kenya and Barcelona 1992 Games and Atlanta 1996 Games sprinter Satoru Inoue from Japan. The Olympians, together with former professional athletes, engaged thousands of Japanese children in a series of sessions to share their experiences and promote the Tokyo 2020 Bid’s mission of inspiring future generations to achieve excellence through the power of sports.
Erick Wainaina said: “I was very happy to share my passion for sport by running with the children today. The Kids Jamboree in Marunouchi is a great event because it enables children to experience the spirit and values of the Olympic Movement while discovering new sports. I’m a huge fan of Japan, so I think Tokyo would do an excellent job of staging a memorable Olympics and Paralympics in 2020. It would be amazing.”
During the Festa, youths and their parents learned about the Olympic and Paralympic Games through lectures and demonstrations by athletes specialised in sports such as football, gymnastics, trampoline, blind football and various wheelchair sports. Kids also were given the chance to match their physical fitness against Olympic heroes and other top-notch athletes.
Masato Mizuno, Tokyo 2020 CEO and JOC Vice President, said: “Sporting events have always enjoyed great support in Japan. I am proud that we are a nation of passionate sports enthusiasts. Tokyo 2020 is committed to uniting our entire nation and inspiring an entire new generation. We intend to stimulate increased sporting participation around the world and help nations build a greater sense of pride by coming together to support their Olympic heroes. Children are our future, so sharing the Olympic Spirit with them would have tremendous benefit not only for Tokyo, but Japan and all other nations, as well as the Olympic Movement.”
Tokyo 2020, by uniting young and old and the past and the future, will build on Japan’s Olympic heritage to infuse the Olympic and Paralympic Games with the renowned spirit of the Japanese people and the excitement of a city that sets global trends.
Erick Wainaina with potential future Tokyo 2020 Olympian / Photo: Tokyo 2020