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Campus Now

Spring Verdure Issue (May. 2014)


Performing well globally while preserving tradition

Athletes produced by Waseda sports

Supporting the learning and competition of athletes
Waseda Athlete Program

From 2014, Athletic Center, which oversees all athletic teams at Waseda University, implemented the Waseda Athlete Program (WAP) for all student athletes (approx. 2,400 students in 44 schools) who are the embodiment of Waseda sports. In addition to providing an organized and comprehensive educational program to promote graduation in 4 years, the program seeks to balance the studies and team activities of student athletes while fostering required social skills and rich human character. WAP is Japan's first such program to cultivate student athletes.

WAP is based on two main pillars. The first is educational programs for building the character of student athletes. These programs seek to create talents who, in addition to posting outstanding results at sports competitions, achieve a balance between study and competition, and who are leaders in a variety of fields in society. Through diverse activities, students obtain a liberal arts education and acquire skills from programs including Liberal Arts Education for Athletes, Career Formation Support, Volunteer/Community Contribution Support, and International Exchange Support.

The second pillar is learning support which promotes graduation in 4 years by setting a minimum number of credits which should be taken each term. In each term, the Athletic Center assesses the academic information of all athletes, including registered courses, credits earned and GPA. Through cooperation with undergraduate schools, the director of each athletic team provides instruction to prevent student athletes from posting poor academic results. Additionally, support for acquiring credits and studying is provided by an academic advisor, and awards are given to recognize athletes with an outstanding academic record.

These projects will serve as a new model for university sports. Our ultimate goal is to contribute to the growth of all of society, not just sports.

The Present and The Past—commemorating unchanging glory and performance
Two commemorative exhibitions for Waseda sports

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Waseda University Track and Field Team. To commemorate this milestone, a special exhibition entitled “Jumping into the World and Pushing Boundaries—Pioneers of Waseda Sports and Their Time” was held from March 24th to April 25th. This exhibition focuses on Yoshio Okita, Mikio Oda, Chuhei Nambu and Shuhei Nishida, 4 athletes from Waseda University who pioneered Waseda sports and played a prominent role in the “golden age” of the Waseda University Track and Field Team. The exhibition traces the interaction between these athletes, as well as their performances. Features include the favorite running spikes and handmade scrapbook of Japan's first gold medalist Mikio Oda, the uniform used by Chuhei Nambu while at university, and other precious material which has been preserved in its original form. Countless glorious records were established by the Track and Field Team in the Showa Period prior to World War II. During this legendary period, Waseda produced numerous medal winners. Also the two “friendship medals” which were made by splitting and rejoining the silver medal won by Shuhei Nishida and the bronze medal won by Sueo Oe of Keio University were on public display.

From March 25th to April 3rd, “Waseda Sports Exhibition: Questing for a Shared Ideal” was held at the Waseda Gallery as a joint event between the Athletic Center and the Waseda Sports Newspaper Club, a student group. The exhibition featured countless photographs of athletes taken by student reporters from the newspaper as they followed Waseda athletes throughout Japan. Also uniforms and goods signed by top athletes from Waseda who now compete on a global level. This glamorous exhibition dazzled many visitors including Waseda sports fans, alumni and new students were on display.

Friendship medals

Athletes on a ship bound for Los Angeles (1932)

Waseda Sports Exhibition. Yoshito Watabe's jumpsuit is displayed in the center.

Report for Sochi Winter Olympics Games and Paralympics Games

The Winter Olympics Games and Paralympics Games were held during February and March in Sochi, Russia. 4 students and 9 alumni from Waseda University competed in Sochi, while 5 alumni participated as coaches and staff members. Outstanding performances were given by Hanyu Yuzuru (1st year student, e-learning courses, School of Human Sciences), who was the first Japanese to win a gold medal in men's figure skating, and Akito Watabe (2011 graduate from the School of Sport Sciences), who captured a silver medal in Nordic combined. Other inspiring performances by Waseda athletes included Hiroyuki Miyazawa (4th year student, School of Sport Sciences) in cross country skiing, Moemi Kikuchi (3rd year student, School of Social Sciences) in short track speed skating, and Yoshito Watabe (4th year student, School of Sport Sciences), who placed 5th in Nordic combined large hill. We look forward to even greater performances by Waseda sports.

*The academic year listed was current at the time of the Olympics/Paralympics.