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Soccer Match Helps Promote Exchanges: High School Students Volunteer to Act as Go-between!

It was "the Ishinimaki-Nichi-Nichi Shinbun's cup soccer event for boys and girls co-hosted by Meiji University affiliated Meiji High as part of its centennial events" that took place for the second since last year on January 12-13. For more about last year's event, click here.
This year's event was held at the soccer field of the Ishinomaki Football Association unlike last year, because last year's venue, Comprehensive Sports Park in Onagawa, is now under post-disaster construction and damage repair work,

【The 6th graders enjoyed their last event. Heated battles were unfolded.】

【Meiji High students in purple uniform acted as referees. 】

JEN supported the overall administration of the event along with organizers; the Ishinomaki Football Association, the Ishinomaki Nichi Nichi Shinbun Newspaper hosting, and Meiji High School.
A total of twelve teams came from Ishinomaki, Higashimatsushima and Onagawacho to participate in the two-day event, enjoying competitive matches.

Meiji High School sent thirty seven students including soccer club members to Ishinomaki for the event. The soccer club members served as umpires and scorers, the rest of the students were also active in volunteering right beside the soccer games for cooking shiruko, sweet red-bean soup, together with residents of the temporary housing complex built in the Tohoku Electronics Industry, Ltd owned land; providing children with the experience of spinning be-goma, spinning top and true-or-false quiz contest.

【Students cooked shiruko with the residents of temporary housing next to the soccer field.】

【After cooking shiruko they "talked over tea."】

【Experiencing be-goma】

Touring tsunami-devastated coastal areas and hearing about the disaster from people in the town or at temporary shopping stores, the students at Meiji High School not only experienced running the event but appeared to be able to heighten the awareness and understanding of what's going on in the disaster stricken area.

As said senior Mr. Tsuchiya who led the student group, "I felt the town has regained its energy and life since my last visit. But I also could see the coastal areas remain almost same as before, so I felt the restoration had only begun. I was glad not only to be able to contribute to managing the event but to see children smile during the attractions this year. I felt what we can contribute is creating an atmosphere in which everybody gets a smile."

【A keepsake picture with students volunteers at Meiji High School. Well done!】

Though the final league planned on the second day was delayed by bad weather, Mr. Testutaro Tanaka, the vice-principal of the school, looked back on this volunteer activity saying "This time, the students were able to not only contribute to managing the soccer event but socialize with residents and children living in temporary housing. Today's youth tend to confine themselves in their own world, but this activity could provide them an opportunity to think others."

During their 3-day tour, they did receive various messages. We want them make good use of this valuable experience and grow to be talent who can support the society in the future.

The postponed final league is going to be held at Kamikama Fureai Square on Sunday 26b January.

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January 16, 2014 in Tohoku earthquake |