Improving access to sports activities and encouraging local sports activities
As a result of the development of Information Technology, our environment is fully equipped to enable us to enjoy watching both national and international sports in real time.
However, equipment, facilities, team mates and a leader are necessary to enjoy sports by actually moving the body. There are people who are not blessed with this opportunity, even if they want to do sports.
Mizuno is taking full advantage of the possibility of sports to provide more people with the opportunity to enjoy sports. Mizuno believes that creating fair opportunities regardless of age, disabilities, or living location is important, and it undertakes support activities for community sports and improving access to sports. Furthermore, it contributes to the creation of connections and communications between people through its activities and sports.
Promotion of sports in local by the top athletes
～ Organizing Mizuno Victory Clinics
Since 2007, Mizuno has organized Mizuno Victory Clinics all across Japan. Japan’s top athletes, both active and retired, work as coaches to communicate the joy of sports and encourage local sports activities. Nearly 300 athletes from 20 different events who took part in domestic and international competitions such as the Olympics and world championships are registered as the Clinic’s coaches. They teach professional skills and the spirit of sports, and help facilitate interaction among the participants. By inviting top-level athletes as coaches, this program gives the athletes opportunities to expand the scope of their career pursuit and contribute to the fusion of top athletes and local sports activities, as well as encourage local sports activities. In FY 2018, Mizuno Victory Clinics held 152 sessions around the country.
Cooperation with the municipality on promoting sports in the region
Sports in each region are not only useful for promoting the health of the mind and body, but also for deepening ties between the residents. By mobilizing the knowledge of the Government-Enterprise-Academic Community, effective activities that meet the needs of the community are available. Mizuno will work together with the local government and local universities to promote regional sports.
Number of stakeholders that concluded a partnership agreement with Mizuno: four municipalities, six universities and two others.
Examples of the contents of the partnership agreement:
1. Business of promotion of sports culture.
2. Business of development of human resources.
3. Business of social contribution and development of a region with a culture of sports and health.
4. Business of sports promotion.
To create the opportunity to enjoy sports, it is important to have a location in each region where people can do sports. Mizuno manages 1,108 sports facilities nationwide, creating locations for people living in each region to interact by providing programs matched to age, and supporting the creation of opportunities for undertaking sports easily as an inhabitant of a region.
Employees’ volunteer activities in sports
Many employees of Mizuno have a background in athletics. Many of them are involved as volunteers in local sports activities, such as coaching baseball and soccer teams. According to reports from employees, 306 of our employees participated as volunteers in sports activities to FY 2018. Including the unreported short-term activities, a considerable number of employees are regularly involved in efforts to encourage local sports activities Employees’ involvement in local sports activities help them quickly identify needs and offer better products, services, and programs.
Examples of Mizuno staff sports volunteers
- Supported the regional boys’ soccer team as a coach for long years.
- Instructed a boys’ baseball team as a field manager and coach for long years.
- Contributed to the planning and managing of a variety of events for the local table tennis association, and managed various events for a local sports association.
- Played shadow picture on the campus of the local university hospital for children with an illness or disability.
- Contributed to activating and improving techniques for children at the local baseball club by instructing them and having fun.
- Continued to instruct and spread volleyball for elementary school students for 17 years. Also belonged to a local volleyball club and acted as a volleyball instructor certified by the Japan Amateur Sports Association.
- Promoted cultural and sports (recreational) activities for the youth as one of the youth guidance leaders in the local community.
Supporting sports for people with disabilities
Mizuno is working to create an environment where handicapped people can access sports positively by developing and providing sports equipment for disabilities and supporting Para-athletes and teams.
Developing equipment for sports prosthesis
Mizuno is working together with Imasen Technology Research Establishment, a welfare equipment manufacturer, to develop a prosthetic leg for athletes. We cooperated with Imasen and developed a leaf spring made of carbon graphite for prosthetic legs for athletes, and began selling it through prosthetic manufacturers nationwide in 2016. This carbon graphite leaf spring is designed for short-distance sprints and suits beginners to top athletes through pursuing the deformation and rebound characteristics needed by athletes by revising the entire figure and stiffness distribution from the knowledge of the operating analysis of running, deformation and load analysis and the architectural analysis of the leaf spring. We are improving its lightness to be easy to handle.
Currently, overseas manufacturers provide most of the leaf springs for prosthetic legs for athletes in the market, so there are not many athletes using domestically produced prosthetic legs in Japan. We will combine the design technology of prosthetic legs of Imasen Technology Research Establishment and the processing technology of carbon graphite and sports technology of the operation analysis of Mizuno Corporation to develop prosthetic legs for athletes that can be distributed in the global market.
Future issues to be addressed
- Mizuno has run numerous sports promotion programs in Japan to date. From now on, we will contribute to promoting sports globally by applying the expertise we have accumulated in Japan.