Improving the physical strength and athletic ability of children who are the next generation

  • Materiality

Globally, the physical strength and athletic ability of children have declined significantly. It is feared that this decline could lead to increased instances of injury and/or lifestyle-related diseases. The decline of children’s physical strength is expected to have a negative impact on the vitality of society as a whole, affecting the health conditions of future generations and causing medical expenses to rise. Efforts must be made by every level of society, including educational institutions and households.

The decline of children’s physical strength and athletic ability is attributable to several trends, such as 1) the decrease in the number of safe and convenient playgrounds, 2) the failure to develop basic moving capabilities that one should acquire during childhood and 3) the feeling of struggling to do sports well. Mizuno has developed a program that aims to improve the physical strength and athletic ability of children, and is expanding it all over the country by using Mizuno staff who are skilled and experienced.

Developing Mizuno’s original athletic program : Hexathlon

Mizuno has developed Hexathlon, a program that combines an athletic ability test with playful activities in which even children with poor athletic ability can have fun learning the basic sports actions. The company has begun offering this program at elementary schools and other facilities. Using Mizuno’s original materials which incorporate considerations for safety and functionality, Hexathlon is designed to help children to learn the basic sports actions such as running, throwing, and jumping in a manner adapted to their individual athletic ability. The provision of a set combining the venue, Hexathlon program and related services would offer an enjoyable and consistent means for helping to improve children’s physical strength and athletic ability. Besides, in addition, Mizuno is also providing programs such as the “Mizuno Style Ninja School,” which involves learning the basic actions of running, throwing and jumping while playing.
The decline in throwing ability for children remains a serious challenge. According to the new Courses of Study for elementary school (announced by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2017), which was revised in 2017 and implemented from 2018, it became possible to teach “throwing as exercise (play),” aiming to improve the long cast ability. Therefore, Mizuno developed “throwing as exercise (play)” for first graders using Hexathlon equipment and tried to implement the program in physical education class of a public elementary school in Nara Prefecture. After practicing in six classes from May to October 2018, we were able to confirm improvement not only in the throwing ability, but also the throwing form. We announced this result at the 17th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society of Human Growth and Development in March 2019.

Developing the original athletic program by Mizuno: others

It is important that children become familiar with participating in physical activity from childhood and that the feeling of struggling to do sports well is eliminated. We aim to increase the number of children who like sports, as even children with poor athletic ability can have fun learning basic sports actions in a short period of time. Mizuno runs the “Mizuno Sports Coaching School” and the “Athletic Meet Winning School” programs in various locations with the use of Mizuno staff who have knowledge and experience of sports.
We also promote “PLAY! CIRCUS,” which is an exercise and play program that includes motions to be learned by children 3 to 5 years old and their parents.
It is a 60-minute program where children join the circus and have fun with the circus master and a clown.

Actual number of programs regarding improvement of physical strength and athletic ability of children in FY2018

Hexathlon

(outline)

a program that combines an athletic ability test with playful activities in which children can have fun learning the basic sports actions.

(performance) It was introduced into 8 schools, held 150 sessions with 5,656 participants. Started a pilot business in Vietnam.
In Vietnam: We implemented an activity to promote the spread of the Mizuno Hexathlon Athletic Program.
It was introduced gradually into 126 elementary schools in 58 provinces and 5 municipalities in Vietnam.

Mizuno style ninja school

(outline) It involves learning the 36 basic actions of running, throwing and jumping while playing ninja trainings.
(performance) 85 sessions and 5,445 participants.

Mizuno style sports school

(outline) A program for children with poor athletic ability including the mat exercise, high bar, vaulting box and so on.
(performance) 1,189 sessions and 1,104 participants
Seminar for win on the Sports day
(outline) A program of experience lessons to win relay and foot race.
(performance) 10 sessions and 160 participants

 

Mizuno style sports school
Mizuno style ninja school
Hexathlon
Cram school for sure victory in the athletic meet
PLAY ! CIRCUS

Other activities: The example of Kashihara City, Nara Prefecture

Fostering future athletes (facilitating the Kids’ Hexathlon program for improving physical strength in children)

Mr. KUMAMOTO, Mitsunobu
Section Chief, Sports Promotion Section, Kashihara City

Recently, Nara Prefecture has had a low ranking in the nationwide physical strength measurement implemented by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Kashihara City used the Kids' Hexathlon program to improve physical strength in children by introducing the Mizuno Hexathlon into 16 elementary schools in the city for four years, starting in FY2014. Hexathlon is a teaching tool to instruct children in basic motions, such as running, jumping and throwing, in cooperation with Mizuno Sports Service Co., Ltd., which is a designated administrator of the sports facility in this city.

The athletic abilities of children improved after implementing the physical strength measurement in the beginning and end of the fiscal year in the schools that introduced Mizuno Hexathlon.
However, due to issues over time, such as the less frequent usage in schools and unclear methods of use, in 2018 we compiled an instructional book for this program according to the course of study for physical education, with confirmation of the effects from the program using Mikuha, a wireless pulse monitor, at a selected elementary school (early elementary grade) in the city, allowing all elementary schools to implement the program effectively.
From this fiscal year, the finalized instructional book will be introduced into all elementary schools in this city and the program will be implemented continuously. We predict that the usage gap between schools will be resolved and the program will become increasingly effective.

Mikuha wireless pulse monitor 

Other activities:Promoting the spread of the Mizuno Hexathlon Athletic Program in Vietnam

Mizuno has been promoting the spread of the Mizuno Hexathlon Athletic Program in Vietnam since 2015. We discovered that the length of time for physical education class in compulsory education in Vietnam was shorter than in developed countries, the exercise program was stereotypical, and there was insufficient consideration given to basic motion in sports, such as running, jumping and throwing.
Mizuno concluded a memorandum of cooperation on the introduction and establishment of the Mizuno Hexathlon Athletic Program with the Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences in 2017, and held a workshop to verify the effectiveness of this program and to develop human resources for the approximately 500 people concerned in educational administration and elementary school teachers.
Mizuno and the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam concluded a memorandum of cooperation on the introduction and establishment of the Mizuno Hexathlon Athletic Program in September 2018. We will continue this activity for the introduction and establishment of the Mizuno Hexathlon Athletic Program under the new learning guidelines of Vietnam's primary compulsory education, and to enhance exercise class in elementary school in Vietnam.

Conclusion of a memorandum of cooperation on the introduction and establishment of Hexathlon in Vietnam's primary compulsory education
Instruction by a Mizuno Play Leader
(elementary school in Hanoi) 
Vietnamese Children enjoying the Hexathlon

Other activities: Mizuno Play Leader

Mizuno is training Play Leaders who create an environment where children can play actively and monitor the activities. The training curriculum includes programs not only for understanding the growth and development of children, but also for considering how to interest them and encourage fun.
There are three classes in the training for Mizuno Play Leader. In the third class, the objective is to understand what a Mizuno Play Leader is. In the second class, we evaluate and clarify the knowledge and skills needed for a play leader.
We started to train people inside and outside of our company.

Mizuno Play Leader

Other activities: Overcoming a problem; Practice instrument for forward upward circling on a horizontal bar

Senoh has been selling the KURUTTO, which is a practice instrument for forward upward circling on a horizontal bar for elementary school children (and for colleges to train elementary school teachers), and introducing it at events, etc., but there was feedback requesting, “I want to achieve a back hip circle before I start elementary school.” In response, Senoh developed the KURUTTO Size SS and a movable low horizontal bar that kindergarten children can use. Senoh is promoting this activity whereby many children can overcome a negative spiral of hating exercise because of being bad at forward upward circling through experiencing this product.

KUROTTO Size SS and low horizontal bar

Future issues to be addressed

It is said that present-day children are lacking three things: time, friends and space for playing.
Some parents and guardians say, “I don’t know how to play with my child.”
Mizuno therefore creates an environment that enables children to enjoy energetic play and trains Mizuno's leader of play as an observer for this. The leader of play creates an environment by providing play and exercise that children are fascinated with, where children can be proactive by playing together. Mizuno considers that we would like to support the creation of the sound minds and bodies of children through playing by familiarizing the leader of play broadly with the people within and outside a company.