With next year’s Paralympics fast approaching, middle school students recently had the opportunity to learn about some of the sports that will be played at the games when the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center visited campus. Part of the middle school’s Tokyo Culture Days Program, which is designed to connect students with the people, communities and cultures of Japan, the Paralympic Undokai, or sports day, saw eighth-graders get a hands-on taste of the sports. Over the course of two days, every student had the opportunity to experience sitting volleyball, wheelchair portball and the wheelchair team relay. Thanks to the efforts of the JapanCenter and generous support from the PTA, students had an opportunity to understand and empathize with differently-abled athletes and the Paralympic movement.
Former wheelchair basketball player and current project leader of Paralympic Support Center’s Promotional and Strategy Department, Yusuke Ibuki (Bukki) opened the ceremony, sharing his experience of completing in the United States, his passions and life work of inclusivity in para-sports.