The United Sports Foundation is looking for Group Leader Volunteers for its upcoming sports camps in Tokushima (August 19~21), Shiga (September 20~22), Fukushima (November 21~23), and Shizuoka (March 23~25). Applications are currently available on the USF Home Page at unitedsportsfoundation.org, and you can keep up with the USF’s activities and other volunteer opportunities by following the USF Facebook page.
From Jennifer Stout (Miyagi 2010-2013) :
“One World. One Team.” Catchy, no? It’s the motto of the UNITED SPORTS FOUNDATION, a non-profit based in Tokyo that uses the medium of sports to promote child development. Born from the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, the USF is just one of many non-profits in Japan, bringing children opportunities for mental, physical, and emotional growth through engaging in a variety of sports under the direct instruction of top athletes (former Olympians, athletes representing Japan on the international level, you know, the big ones).
Although sports aren’t something that come to mind when people brainstorm non-profits (especially in areas recovering from the earthquake and tsunami), the USF founders saw firsthand how sports can bring people together, foster optimism, and restore smiles to the faces of children affected by the disaster.
Since its establishment in September 2011, the USF has extended activity across Japan in order to reach out to as many children as possible. One of the biggest events where the USF focuses much of its efforts is the ‘USF Sports Camp.’ I started as but a volunteer at the first USF Sports Camp in Miyagi, but since then we have held it three times in Fukushima and once in Tokyo. We are currently preparing to hold camps in Tokushima (August 19-21), Shiga (September 20-22), Fukushima (November 21-23), and Shizuoka (March 23-25).
These events are led by Foreign Group Leader Volunteers, who have a unique opportunity to engage with children outside the classroom to understand the international nature of sports. By participating with the kids in the various sports clinics and activities, volunteers can experience with children the power of sports to transcend language and cultural barriers, as well as promote the exchange between foreign residents and the Japanese community. Furthermore, in the International Sports Introduction part of the camp, volunteers can introduce a sport from their home country, or show the similarities and differences between how the sport is enjoyed in Japan and abroad.
Check out some photos from past events, and follow the links at the top if you think you’d be interested in volunteering with us! Hope to see you there!