“Urawa Reds Heart-full Cup 2nd Smile Soccer” was held at Reds Land on 6th May.
This event was co-hosted by Saitama Adapted Sports Association and Urawa Reds with the aim of promoting sports for disabled and supporting healthy development of young people. It was the 2nd time the event was held at Reds Land. There were soccer (11 a side) and futsal (5 a side) tournaments. From Saitama Prefecture, 21 teams of 250 disabled people participated in the event.
In the opening ceremony, President Ayako Shioura of Saitama Adapted Sports Association gave a speech. “Please do not give up and aim to win till the end just as the Reds players showed us yesterday.” The participants replied with a resounding, “Yes!”
After that, Urawa Reds presented smaller soccer balls to the teams and the games started. It started to rain heavily in the afternoon but the artificial turf pitch was not that badly affected. The participants were truly enjoying themselves as there could be seen many smiles while playing soccer. The event was a great success.
【Result of Urawa Reds Heart-full Cup 2nd Smile Soccer】
■11 a side
1st: FC Saitama RED
2nd: Team Sakura A
■5 a side (I)
1st: FC Paradise
2nd: FC Saitama WHITE
3rd: Kasukabe Special Needs School
■5 a side (II)
2nd: Ageo Woods
3rd: Nakkara Honjo
Director Hiroshi Matsumoto of Saitama Adapted Sports Association (Vice President of Red Diamonds Supporters’ Association)
“For Saitama Adapted Sports Association, the aim of holding such an event is to promote disabled people’s participation in the society through sports activities. Students are able to play sports regularly but when they start working, chances of playing sports are lesser. It was good to see as many as 21 teams’ participation even though the event was held on the last day of the long holiday. It was also good to hear their happy voices and see a lot of smiles. I think it was a great achievement for the organizer.
I also think it was a great experience to be in Reds Land with this wonderful environment surrounded by greenery. I would like to express my appreciation to Urawa Reds and Reds Land for providing us such a place.
This time, we had support from referees (Saitama City Soccer Club members), team coaches and families. Like this, sports for disabled are supported by a lot of people. It also needs the cooperation of the society. We just finished the 2nd event this year but I hope that we can continue it in the years to come.”