FY2015 NTT Dream Kids Interaction Track and Field Class, Osaka Grounds
NTT West is implementing initiatives for promoting sports and aims to become a much-loved company that is close to the community through the achievements of its Track and Field Team, a symbol of NTT West.
On February 6, 2016, NTT West held NTT Dream Kids Interaction Track and Field Class in Osaka for its 10th running year. A total of 43 students from 7 middle schools in the prefecture took part in the event and enjoyed interacting with active professional athletes and coaches.
A golden opportunity to learn from national level athletes
The athletes who are members of the NTT West track and field team are all familiar names who participate in the “New Year Ekiden” and “West Japan Corporate Team Ekiden.” It was a golden opportunity to learn directly from such athletes and coaches. The participating students all listened intently to their words and engaged vigorously in training.
Active professional athletes explain the basics of running
Toshihiro Kenmotsu, who won 3rd place in the National Championships (1500m) in 2014, gave a lecture on running forms. Using his own body to demonstrate movements, he carefully explained various movements and forms such as the importance of “lifting one leg and making sure the body doesn’t sway right or left” and “firmly propelling oneself forward while flexing the front thigh muscles.”
The Ekiden Race kicks off amid excited commentary and cheers
After “warm ups” and a training that starts off running at a slow pace and gradually building up called “build up running,” participants were split into 9 mixed-gender teams to start the main event, “Ekiden Race.” During the race, the team mood maker Yasuhito Ikeda gave a running commentary. Teammates and accompanying teachers excitedly cheered on the runners and turned the grounds into a lively event.
Even the slightly unexpected turns into memorable moments!?
The long awaited demonstration followed. Students ran alongside active professionals and experienced their speed. The students, with heightened bonds of solidarity after the Ekiden Race, put their heads together and came up with the strategy of relaying short distances. As a result, the athletes with no reliefs lost against the students, bringing laughter to the grounds.
Passionate words from coaches who have experienced many hardships
In the latter half was a lecture by coach ?saki, who has a triumphant history as the winner of the 2002 Asian Marathon Championship and achieving 2nd place in the 2004 Tokyo International Marathon. He talked about his experiences of overcoming many hardships and also gave the students passionate words of advice such as, “Please don’t ever forget the joy you felt when you first began track and field,” “Holding big dreams and moving relentlessly forward will definitely bear fruit” and “It is always important to feel gratitude toward the people around you.”