TOMODACHI – U.S. Embassy Go For Gold Sports Leadership Program 1st Orientation in Tokyo
Delegates of the second TOMODACHI – U.S. Embassy Go for Gold Sports Leadership Program met for the first time on December 10 in the Tokyo metropolis. This was the first of three orientation sessions scheduled in preparation for their trip to the United States departing on February 27, 2024.
Kaoru Utada, Director, Programs & Partnerships, U.S. Japan Council (USJC) emceed and opened the day with an overview of the TOMODACHI Initiative followed by welcoming remarks made by USJC’s Executive Director, Mark Ikeno, and Adam Gallagher, Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer – U.S. Embassy Tokyo.
Two panel discussions filled the morning session moderated by mentors Dr. Daichi Oshimi, Associate Professor, School of Physical Education, Tokai University and Dr. Rei Yamashita, Associate Professor, Toyo University. Panelists were leading experts in the sports field representing the Public, Private, and Non-Profit tri-sectors.
Panel 1, “Power of Sports: Differences between Japan and the United States”
- Tom Byer, International Consultant & Founder of “Soccer Starts at Home”
- Hideyuki Andy Hata, CEO, ANDY Corporation, VP of International and General Manager, San-En NeoPhoenix
- Janelle Sasaki, EY Japan Corporate Responsibility Leader, EY Japan
Panel 2, “Building the Next Generation in Sports Leadership: Education and Youth Development in Sports”
- Kaoru Nakazawa, freelance Sports Marketing Expert
- Soichiro Sano, Division Manager, Sport Integrity Unit, Japan Sport Council
- Ryotaro Tsutsui, Deputy Director, Culture, Sports Science & Technology, Ministry of Education
- Tomohiko Yoshida, Senior Program Director, “Sasakawa Sports Foundation”
The delegates are tasked with making presentations upon their return at the Awards Ceremony at the Roppongi Hills Club on March 15, 2024. The mentors established three working teams, taking into consideration preferences received from the delegates:
- SDG trends in Sports & Arena Technology
- Fan Management
- Career opportunities in sports management and Second careers for athletes
After an introspective leadership workshop led by Yoichi Suzuki, Executive Board Director – Wake Up Japan, the day ended with a visit to the Japan Olympic Museum located in the Japan Sport Olympic Square building, that served as an administrative center for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
This orientation consisted of three segments: panel discussions with experts in the sport management field, a workshop and a visit to the Japan Olympic Museum. The participants also worked on team-building activities and got to know the program mentors. There will be two upcoming virtual orientations prior to the departure, and the participants will be fully prepared to spend two weeks in the U.S.