A) “SOCIAL CHANGE with SPORTS”
After Tokyo was selected to host the Paralympic Games in 2020, the Nippon Foundation launched the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center (Parasapo) in 2015 to build a sustainable management structure of National Federations (NFs) after exchanging ideas with experts from various fields and Paralympians. Since its establishment, Parasapo has embraced the slogan "SOCIAL CHANGE with SPORTS" and conducted a series of projects to promote a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) society through Para sports, and public understanding of Para sports and the Paralympics.
The organization was renamed as “The Nippon Foundation Parasports Support Center (Parasapo)” in 2022.
Parasapo operates a co-working office for 28 NFs to support a sustainable management structure by providing grants for administrative staff costs, and funding for increasing public engagement in sports, as well as a promotion and marketing budget. It also provides shared back-office services, such as accounting and administrative processing, to strengthen organizational management.
B) Asu-Challe! - Challenge for Tomorrow-
Since 2016, with the aim of enhancing public understanding, Parasapo has been organizing education programs called, “Asu-Challe!* ”. These programs are designed to target students in primary, secondary and special-needs schools, as well as provide training seminars for businesses, organizations, communities, and universities, in both cases with Para athletes or persons with disabilities serving as lecturers. By 2022, more than 3,800 programs had been hosted, with over 400,000 children and adults having participated in Japan and abroad.
*“Asu” stands for “Tomorrow” in Japanese.
For more information and enquiries (in Japanese):
C) The Nippon Foundation Para Arena
The Nippon Foundation Para Arena in Odaiba, Tokyo, which is managed by Parasapo, opened in 2018 to ensure and improve the training environment for Para athletes ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. With input from Para athletes, the entire facilities are universally designed for use by everyone.
According to the SSF's survey, the number of sports facilities in Japan dedicated to or prioritizing people with disabilities is currently on the rise: from 1975 to 1990, 90 facilities were established, increasing to 107 by around 2000. From then until 2011, the number remained largely stagnant at 114, increasing by only 7. Nonetheless, a survey covering 2010-2021 shows that the number leaped to 139 by 2015, and to 150 by 2021.
Read more about the SSF’s survey here (in Japanese):
D) Shingo Katori NFT Art Charity Project
Mr. Shingo Katori, one of Japan's leading entertainers and artists, as the Parasapo Special Supporter and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) special ambassador for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, has led a charity project. In this project, Katori donated 39 million yen to Parasapo in August 2022 to support Para sports. Katori created a mural painting under the theme of “i enjoy!” and sold it as NFT (Non-Fungible Token) art for 3,900 yen per piece. It was a limited offering of 10,000 pieces and sold out in just one day. 15 million yen was donated to the IPC, which has announced that the funds will be used for the IPC's first internship program for Para athletes. In addition, the remaining JPY 24 million was used to support the promotion of Para sports by 24 summer and winter NFs in Japan
You can see the mural painting here (in Japanese):
IPC: Japanese artist Katori donates EUR 100,000 to the IPC to create an internship programme
Sport for Everyone, Sport for All
Understanding and respect for each person's unique characteristics is essential for realizing a D&I society in which everyone can flourish. As a part of the Nippon Foundation Group, SSF will not only conduct certain research for people with disabilities on its own but will also work together with other organizations within the group, such as Parasapo, to develop a better sports environment for everyone.