Heart-Full Club held the event “Heart-full Soccer in Hong Kong” (sponsor: Mitsubishi Corporation) for about 60 students of Hong Kong Japanese School Primary Section on 6th May.
Coach Atsushi Nagai took a charge of the event. The students were divided into 2 groups and did some warm ups utilising the ball, which were conducted to make the students realize the importance of teamwork. The students were energetically playing soccer to their fullest right from the start. During the game, the students were cheering for their team mates. About 40 parents and guardians came to watch their children play and listen to Captain Ochiai’s lecture. After the event, the students lined up to get autographs from the coaches and asked for photos. It was a great success.
In the evening, there was a reception held at the Japanese government office in Hong Kong and the Heart-full Club staff, Masayuki Okano (TSW Pegasus) and Yuto Nakamura (TSW Pegasus) attended. Ambassador Shigekazu Sato delivered a speech. “Sports is a universal tool in international exchange. Among them, soccer is one of the more popular sport that many people like. Besides being a popular and strong team, Reds has been holding activities in many places and contributing to the society. I truly respect their tireless efforts. I hope that Reds can continue to contribute to the society in the future.” After that, the 30 participants continued to socialise among themselves.
“Heart-full Soccer in Hong Kong” which was co-hosted with the Friends of the United Nations Asia-Pacific, FOUNAP had about 115 Hong Kong children (3 sessions) and about 155 Japanese children (4 sessions) participating in the event. The Heart-full Club members interacted with about 580 people in total including audiences for Captain Ochiai’s lectures. Heart-full Club returned to Japan on 7th May.
Sakura Ohsawa (9 years old)
“I was looking forward to today. Although I could not score, it was fun. I think I enjoyed kicking the ball the most. The coaches were nice.”
Takumi Mandokoro (9 years old)
“It was fun. I am not very skilled but it was good that I could play soccer. The coaches were all nice. I want to play soccer more.”
Mrs. Nene Mandokoro, Mother of Takumi
“We moved to Hong Kong this year. We used to live in Urawa and of course, we know about Reds. It brings back memories when I hear about Reds so we decided to participate. It was so lively and the children were so active.”
Mr. Yoichi Suzuki, Principle of Hong Kong Japanese School Primary Section
“I feel that it was a good approach as the children are enjoying playing soccer and at the same time, connecting with others. As a teacher, I will share this experience with children who did not join the event.”
Coach Atsushi Nagai
“What I wanted to achieve the most was to let the children have fun from the bottom of their hearts. I was happy to see the children enjoy. My impression of Japanese children in Hong Kong is that they are very innocent. I feel that these children are well protected by the adults and companies in a society that has a lot of restrictions. The children listened to our instructions well and did their best to follow the rules at the same time. It was a good experience and I feel fulfilled.”
Mr. Toshimitsu Urabe, President of Mitsubishi Corporation Hong Kong
“I am very happy to note that both Hong Kong and Japanese people happily mixed together and the event was a great success. The supporting staff reported to me that it was very good. In Asia, we are in an era where we are changing from selling Japanese products to promoting Japanese culture. I feel that it is important to play sports together in enhancing understandings of different countries’ cultures.”
Captain Hiroshi Ochiai
“My impression of children in Hong Kong is that they are a bit quiet. They were obedient and also enjoyed playing in the game held to their fullest. As their standard of living is high, the children are well mannered. Another thing that surprised me was that there were a lot of parents and guardians that came to watch their children play. Even though I communicated with them by using interpreters, they showed positive response and I felt that they are very enthusiastic. Also, this time we had supports from Mitsubishi Corporation and they were very helpful. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them.”