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Event Report “i enjoy! Para-Sports Park in ParaFes 2018”! (Part I)

On November 23, the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center (Parasapo) and the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza held “i enjoy! Para-Sports Park in ParaFes 2018,” an amusement park-styled event where visitors could experience parasports. The event was held in the sub-arena next to the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza main arena, which had been the venue for “ParaFes 2018.”

The “i enjoy! Para-Sports Park” event, held in locations throughout the country, hosts experiences that anyone can enjoy—regardless of age, gender, etc.—and has seen over 20,000 visitors, helping to expand the population of people who have experienced parasports. This particular event saw approximately 1,300 visitors, who dropped in before ParaFes to participate actively in various parasports, or who arrived wanting to experience a parasport or other that they had seen on TV, and the venue was filled with their excited energy.

i enjoy! Para-Sports Park: Experiencing the Unique “Flavors” of Six Different Para-Sports

There were six parasports workshops set up in the approximately 1,800m2 venue: wheelchair basketball, para athletics (wheelchair racing), boccia, judo, table tennis, and para powerlifting. Participants were able to come in contact with a variety of tools and equipment and just have fun with the sports, while receiving advice directly from the para-athletes themselves.

Participants experienced table tennis as the para-athletes do, with a specially made table that recreated their perception of the game

Participant playing against wheelchair table tennis player Shinichi Yoshida (Japan national team for the Rio Paralympics)

Katsuyoshi Yagi (ranked 8th in the world), of Class 7 disability, also participated

Participant cracking a smile while going up against Yukihiro Yoneda of the Judo event, perhaps a little out of fear

“With the eye mask on, you don’t really know when you’re being thrown,” said many of the participants

Participants actually rode on sport wheelchairs to experience the joys and difficulties of wheelchair basketball

There were many small children as well, with this little girl high-fiving popular wheelchair basketball instructor Shinji Negi, who goes by the nickname “Neji”

Para powerlifter Eri Yamamoto-MacDonald welcomed participants to the para powerlifting workshop

Participants attempted to lift the bar, which had been adjusted in weight for each individual’s physical strength

The boccia workshop was crowded with children and families

The participants, many of whom said they had always wanted to play boccia, were very happy to be able to play

The instructor for the wheelchair racing workshop was Yoshifumi Nagao, who has competed in seven Paralympics—the most of any Japanese para-athlete

Participants turned the wheels as fast as they could for 10 seconds, competing for the highest maximum speed (km/h)

Chiitan the river otter mascot also tried its hand at table tennis!

Chiitan wearing an eye mask to experience the Judo event

text by TEAM A
Photo by X-1

Next >>> Event Report “i enjoy! Para-Sports Park in ParaFes 2018”! (Part II)

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