Sport for Tomorrow programme provides support to the development of sport in Mongolia
The Sport for Tomorrow programme, a Japanese government-initiated programme to promote international cooperation through sport, extended support to the development of sport in Mongolia, including a project to assist the Mongolian Special Olympics table tennis team, which qualified for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
The Sport for Tomorrow project in Mongolia has provided equipment to approximately 1,400 students in four special schools in Ulan Bator. This has resulted in many local children, who had been required to travel to other venues to play sport, now being able to play sport at their own schools and enjoy the benefits of sport on a daily basis.
This support project was organised by three member companies of the Sport for Tomorrow Consortium: the Japan Table Tennis Association, table tennis equipment maker Nippon Takkyu Co., Ltd., and athletic equipment and sportswear company ASICS.
The Sport for Tomorrow programme aims to bring together public and private sector organisations to collaborate on a variety of projects by launching the Sport for Tomorrow Consortium that plays a key role in facilitating member organisation collaborations. This project is a prime example of a successful collaboration that the Consortium was set up to achieve.
The project began as a response to a request for assistance from the Autism Association of Mongolia, a local NGO that supports autistic children and their parents. Sport for Tomorrow Consortium member the Japan Table Tennis Association, contacted Nippon Takkyu Co., Ltd. and ASICS with a view to working together on the project, and both companies readily agreed. Nippon Takkyu Co., Ltd. donated several items of equipment and provided other equipment at discounted rates, while ASICS donated equipment, raised funds to cover export fees and provided uniforms for the members of the Mongolian Special Olympics team that took part in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games at Los Angeles, America.
This support also encompassed the enhancement of the overall domestic sports environment for table tennis in Mongolia. Together, the Autism Association of Mongolia, Japan’s governing body for table tennis, and two Japanese private sector companies were able to form a private-public initiative to provide assistance that transcended mere business interests.
On 25 July 2015, the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games were officially opened in Los Angeles, with approximately 7,000 athletes from 177 countries taking part. Four Mongolian table tennis players, proudly wearing their ASICS-donated national uniforms, also participated in the Games, obtaining a gold, silver and bronze medal.
Altangerel Lkhagvajav, executive officer of the Autism Association of Mongolia, was delighted with the result of the Sport for Tomorrow project: “We really appreciate everyone's efforts to respond to our request for table-tennis tables for our special schools, as well as the Olympic standard equipment and the team uniforms. Of course, the coaching and practice sessions were important, but I think that being able to practice on Olympic standard table-tennis tables was particularly effective. Now that we have outstanding training facilities, we are determined to expand the scope of our activities and aim for more medals in the future.”
Motoi Oyama, President and CEO of ASICS remarked, “The project brought together private sector companies, sport federations, NGOs, universities and local governments, and provided an excellent platform for us to make a meaningful contribution to the international community through sport. We look forward to the opportunity of being able to contribute to sports further in the lead up to 2020.”
For further inquiries, please contact: Sport for Tomorrow Consortium Secretariat firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Sport for Tomorrow Programme:
The Sport for Tomorrow programme is one of the Japanese government’s commitments to leveraging the power of sport and further promoting the Olympic and Paralympic movements to create a brighter future for people throughout the world. The programme aims to implement a variety of sporting events and activities that will engage over ten million people in over 100 countries spanning a seven-year period, culminating in 2020. This will enable Japan to achieve its objectives of providing assistance to developing countries, training future sports leaders at new international sports academies, and protecting both athletes and the integrity of sport by promoting global anti-doping initiatives. In 2014, the Sport for Tomorrow programme engaged some 520,000 worldwide people through its various activities.
About the Sport for Tomorrow Consortium:
The Sport for Tomorrow Consortium was launched in August 2014 in order to align the concerned organisations in both the public and private sectors with a common vision. Chaired by representatives of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the consortium’s Steering Committee is made up of key members of the Japanese sporting community with the remit of making the optimal use of existing resources. The Japan Sport Council served as its secretariat.
Autism Association of Mongolia
Established in 2013, the Autism Association of Mongolia is an NGO that provides support to autistic children, adults and their families, and works to improve the environment surrounding autism in Mongolia. Ms. Altangerel Lkhagvajav, the executive officer of the organization, completed a doctorate in law, nature environment and agriculture at Japan’s Tohoku University, and currently dedicates her services to enhancing living environments for all disabled children in Mongolia.