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Top>Research>Chuo University sports revolution(CHANGE)-Setting Chuo sport alight!


Hiromichi Kawada

Hiromichi Kawada [Profile]

Education Courcse

Chuo University sports revolution(CHANGE)

-Setting Chuo sport alight!

Hiromichi Kawada
Visiting Professor of sports administration(competitive sports administration and management), sports science, and sports psychology, the Faculty of Policy Studies, Chuo University

Light and shadow of university sports in Japan and America

I took my first sports science lesson in September 2005 at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (Korakuen Campus). From the following April, I was appointed visiting professor of the Faculty of Policy Studies at the Tama Campus and put in charge of the sports administration lectures (SAD) and its accompanying seminar (FLP Sports and Health Science Program). Chuo University's campuses are blessed with a wonderful environment, but to me, who had spent many years living in America, I saw the environment as not being used to its full potential and felt disorientated. The biggest difference between sports in American and Japanese universities is that competitive sports in American universities are clearly placed as an extension of education, while in Japan they are regarded as autonomous student activities. America also attaches great importance to fairness. For example, for a student to be eligible to compete in competitive sports, it is clearly stated in the rulebooks that the student must maintain a certain GPA (grade point average) level in his university studies. It is also stated that students, coaches and university administrators who violate this face heavy punishment, and penalties have actually been handed down. Also, the promotion of university sports is different.

In Japan's case, sports are labeled autonomous student activities; therefore all sports are in a situation where they are run by nontransparent administration, which disappoints me very much.

I believe it is necessary to run Japanese university sport from a new angle. To achieve this, I think we need to reexamine university sport, with our sights set on a bright future from a sports administration point of view.

Sports administration (SAD) as a lecture subject

In our universities today, we have entered an era where we often see subjects such as sports business management, sports management and sports marketing.

I think it is easier to grasp if you think of sports administration as a general term for total management (unification, administration, management) of specialist fields, branches and posts. Already, in advanced sporting nations, it is becoming harder to come across the expression, Physical Education. In recent years, the number of Japanese universities updating this term is gradually on the rise. Sport can technically be classified into four areas, sports recreation and leisure, sports health and medical science, competitive sports, and spectator sports. Sports management is a device which produces new software and brings new life to these concepts of sport by adding a hand called management. Accordingly, this field and branch is an indispensable element in producing sports.

Universities must stipulate the point and goals of competitive sports.

Essentially, competitive university sport should be given significant importance and be placed as an extension of education, and have a goal. That is to say, universities are academic institutions, and competitive sports are also a place to learn and arouse, through competitive activities, a sense of fairness that is necessary for people to engage in harmonious relationships together. Out of this, it is necessary for universities participating in competitive sports to stipulate common values, goals and missions. For this purpose, the establishment of an organization body administering and managing competitive university sport nationwide is being hastened. Next, in order to maintain the essence of university education and fairness in sport, rules and punishments need to be well-defined, and a third-party institution has to be established to give judgment. Therefore, I want Chuo, a university steeped in tradition of university sport, to take the initiative in promoting the necessity of a competitive university sport rule book.

Clearly define the value, goals and mission of university sport and student athletes

(1) The value and goals of competitive university sport activities can present a common topic for not only, students, teachers and staff, but also the local community. With the spirit of those involved joining together to become a powerful tool, these values and goals will be returned to the interested parties. This also contributes greatly to morale-building at the university, acting as a spokesman displaying the honor, traditions and power of one's school to all.

(2) To student athletes, competitive sport is a place where they can demonstrate their physical abilities and skills, and challenge their limits. Also, competitive sport is a place where, in character building terms, cooperativeness and sociability is learnt, pride in and name value of one's university is raised, and affection for one's school and a sense of solidarity is learnt. In this way, for student athletes it can be said to be a place nurturing highly ambitious people who have gained a balance in spirit, learning, performance and body.

(3) A mission for student athletes at university, along with becoming an example showing the value of representing the university, is to accomplish the values and goals of competitive university sport.

Origins and 5 year plan of the Kawada Seminar at Chuo University

Just over half a year after starting lectures at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, I contemplated how we could teach the importance of sport activities and competitive sports to students at Chuo University, a school with no specialist sports department. As a result, I devised a 5 year plan to be implemented in my five year term as visiting professor from April 2006, and put it into practice.

I positioned the sports administration lecture course as a place for teaching (bestowing knowledge) and the accompanying Kawada Seminar a place for coaching (practical training activities as practical science) and started the course. The Kawada Seminar practical sports training exercises at this university, with many students who have little interest in sport, was set up as a must for the future development of Chuo University sport, and a down to earth first step to build the required environment. Also, for seminar students, through this practical science, they get to experience the thoughts of people involved with individuals, groups and organizations, something they would never experience with study alone. I hope that they realize the necessity of listening to others in order to have themselves understood and learn the importance of fairness in society. The foundations of sports administration lie in fairness. I started the course hoping that the fairness would be inherited and developed by the next generation of sports administrators needed for Japan's sporting world.

Kawada Seminar initiating sport promotion activities

The reason behind choosing the topic of sports involving Chuo University as the theme for the Kawada Seminar was that it is a topic familiar to the students in the course, and the results of the topic can contribute to Chuo University sport in addition to being giving back to all those involved.

I. Topic:Chuo University sports calendar
Theme:Have general students, teachers and staff, and graduate students become familiar with Chuo sports!

The Chuo University sports calendar was set up to let students with little interest in sport know about the successful student athletes on campus and the effort they put in. General students are encouraged when they see the calendar in front of their desks showing fellow students giving it all, in turn making the students strive for more in their own studies. By looking at this calendar (showing students carrying the tradition of Chuo in competition against other universities), parents throughout the country will also be reminded of both Chuo University and their own children. In that sense, this calendar is proof of trust and bonds, the love of their school held by all those with connections to Chuo. Accordingly, the mission of this promotion activity is to use the calendar to raise interest in Chuo University and Chuo sports.

・Outcomes and results:3 year plan
  • 2006 Planning, production, securing sponsorship and starting up of Chuo University Sports Calendar.
  • 2008 Produce a target of 5800 copies and distribute to parent-teacher associations nationwide.
  • Spring 2009. First batch of Kawada Seminar students graduate.
II. Topic:Chuo University Sports Symposium
Theme:Enlivening Chuo University sport-

Chuo University Sports Symposium is a practical activity aimed to instill an enjoyable sports culture on campus, and one in which an important mission lies. For three years, Kawada Seminar has put passion and energy into reform activities within the university in order to develop sport in Chuo University. The sports symposium was developed with the aim to nurture a new sporting culture in Chuo University. The sports symposium is a cultural event to let young students know the joy and splendor of sports at the university campus.

One result of this activity for seminar students was achieving the goal of attracting visitors to the Chuo University Sports Symposium.

・Outcomes and Results:
  • 2007 Topic Planning, production, initializing management and administration of Chuo University Sports Symposium.
  • 20071st symposium successfully attracts 350 visitors. First symposium at Chuo University to be planned, produced and managed by seminar students.
  • 2008 2nd seminar only attracts 270 visitors leaving us with something to think about in the future.
  • 2009 3rd symposium attracts 750 visitors (exceeding our target of 500).
  • Activity goals set for the three years achieved. Kawada Seminar second batch of students graduate in spring 2010.
III. Topic:“Chuo University Relay Marathon”
Theme:Bringing about ALL CHUO MIND

Chuo University Relay Marathon is a place where people with, or without, an interest in Chuo University sports can gather once a year at the campus and check out their health and the current state of affairs at the school, as well as work up a sweat by participating in sports themselves and talk amongst each other. And I hope that participants, even if only one, get to savor the enjoyment and refreshing feeling of sport. Seminar students encourage participants, confirm each other's affection and loyalty toward the university, and provide a venue and environment to build cooperativeness. They also work as coordinators. Chuo University Relay Marathon, as a symbol of change in Chuo sport is a 125th anniversary commemorative event and as it will continue to be held at Tama Campus in late autumn every year, I think it carries great significance for the university as a whole.

・Expected outcomes and results:To be held Saturday November 6, 2010 3 year plan
  • 2008 Planning and production of Chuo University Marathon. The original plan was to hold a full marathon.
  • 2009 Kawada Seminar applies for and is selected as a student production for Chuo University 125th anniversary events.
  • November 6, 2010 Planning and management of Chuo University Relay Marathon. A five hour endurance race where runners pass on a sash.
  • 107 teams and a total of 853 competitors have entered the five hour endurance race.
・Outcomes and results:Succession of works by the first batch of students from Kawada Seminar
  • 2009 Continuation of Chuo University Sports Calendar, planning, production and finding sponsors.
  • Completed in spring 2010 7000 copies printed and sent to parent-teacher associations nationwide, with some to be used as participation prizes in the marathon.
  • 2010 Third batch of Kawada Seminar students. Due to graduate in spring 2011.
  • All 17 seminar students have job offers (1 has been accepted to graduate school), and there were also four irregular students (2nd year students).

Final word

On top of aiming to improve, reform and build university sports and competitive sports at Chuo University with the three spearheads (topics) of the sports calendar, symposium, and relay marathon, research topics and practical training activities of Kawada Seminar have positioned themselves as an important infrastructure maintenance enterprise. The first, second and third batch of students, in addition to showing strong belief and enthusiasm in their terms, have always possessed high ambitions for every topic and theme. November 6 will signal the end of the Kawada Seminar five year plan and with the Chuo University Relay Marathon will be a compilation of the practical training activities. For myself, as an instructor, I have admired the potential and energy shown by each of the wonderful general students and seminar students I have been lucky enough to meet. They have taught me that what is necessary now is a positive and creative atmosphere. I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to those seminar students who have displayed practical skills and energy day-in-day-out, and wish them all the best for the future. The practical training exercises of Kawada Seminar were made possible by the warm support of many people from in and out of the university. I would like to take this opportunity to convey my gratitude to them as well.

Hiromichi Kawada
Visiting Professor of sports administration(competitive sports administration and management), sports science, and sports psychology, the Faculty of Policy Studies, Chuo University
Born in 1947 in Tokushima Prefecture and graduated from Nippon Sport Science University. After completing his Master of Science (MS) from University of Oregon in 1972, and Brigham Young University (BYU) in 1976, worked as Head coach and sports administrator at the Athletic Department of BYU, as well as a full-time faculty in the Physical Education Department. Was a pioneer and positively active in developing Japan-US university exchanges in sports such as baseball, football, gymnastics and volleyball etc.. Acts as a bridge between the US Olympic Committee and Japan Olympic Committee. Worked as both an American university faculty and secretary for Seibu Railways Ltd.from 1977 and overlooked the establishment of the Prince Hotel corporate baseball team and the Seibu Lions ball club. In 1980 was specially assigned a position in charge of baseball operations as a group director (during this time Prince Hotel baseball team entered the inter-city competition, and in 1982, Seibu Lions won their first league championship and Japan Series title), founded SPI Ltd. (competitive sports administration and management company) in 1984, and as representative director, was official coordinator for the host broadcaster of the 1987 and 1991 World Track and Field Championships in Rome and Tokyo, international marathons, indoor track & field meets and Super track & field meets. Athletic sports advisor for NEC in 1985 and took command at the head of the team as sports administrator until the spring of 2005. Spent four years from 1994 as advisor to the organization office of the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants and assistant for manager, Shigeo Nagashima, and in his final year in 1997, oversaw the splendid baseball administration of the make miracle, make drama season, that will remain forever in baseball folklore. As a visiting professor in Chuo University Faculty of Policy Studies since April 2006, has given lectures on sports science,sports administration and concentrates on practical training exercises in the accompanying Kawada Seminar. He is currently in that post.