REPRESENTATIVES from the University of Worcester (UOW) have flown to Japan to help create a ‘legacy’ for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Professor David Green, UOW Vice Chancellor and Mick Donovan, UOW Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor for Inclusive Sport, visited the Japanese capital last week to deliver a series of presentations to the Paralympic organising committee.
They spoke to the committee’s Chairman, Yasushi Yamawaki and secretary general, Kunio Nakamori, as well as Kazuo Ogura, former Japanese Ambassador to the UK, former secretary general for Japan’s Olympic bid and director of the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Centre.
Also among the delegation was Dr Nobuko Tanaka, associate Professor at Toin University of Yokohama and counsellor to the CEO of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.
The university, which has become internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for inclusive sport, has welcomed visits from disability sport experts from across the world who are keen to learn from its successes.
Since the curtain came down on London 2012, the UOW Arena has accommodated regional, national and international disability sport fixtures and events, whilst also helping to break down barriers to sport participation amongst all social groups, making the facility inclusive.
The trip follows a visit to Worcester by the Tokyo organising committee this time last year, when a delegation observed the university’s renowned inclusive approach to coach and teacher education.
Dr Tanaka said: “I’ve introduced the university’s philosophy to the Tokyo 2020 organising committee in an attempt to spread the message and I will be strongly encouraging them to work and study alongside the university.”
Mr Donovan said: “We continue to develop a great relationship with experts throughout the world and whilst in Japan, we were excited to be engaging in strategic discussions with such prestigious future partners for the university and the wider region.”
“London 2012 was a real watershed moment for disability sport and in the three years that have passed since those games, we have built on that success, attempting to make sport accessible and enjoyable for all, whatever their level of ability.
“We recognise there is still plenty of work to be done both in this country and abroad with regards to disability sport, so we are therefore delighted Dr Tanaka and her colleagues are so keen to work alongside our experts in Worcester.”