ANA Future promise Society/Community Regional revitalization through sports in Amakusa City ANA Future promise Society/Community Regional revitalization through sports in Amakusa City

December 14, 2023

A sports commission event was held at the newly opened Amashin Stadium to deepen exchanges with children from Amakusa City, Kumamoto Prefecture.

What is a sports commission?

Sports commissions are organizations that bring together local governments, sports associations, and private companies to create new opportunities for social exchange by holding events and attracting competitions and training camps, with the aim of revitalizing communities through sports. Amakusa City launched a sports commission in July 2022.

Newly built Amashin Stadium in July 2023

From FY2023, ANA Blue Monsters, which consists of ANA Group athlete employees and others, in cooperation with ANA Akindo Co., Ltd. concluded the "Citizen-Athlete Exchange Project Business Consignment" with the Amakusa Sports Commission, aiming to work together to create an environment where all Amakusa citizens can improve their health and athletic performance by becoming familiar with sports and exercise throughout their lives, in accordance with their respective lifestyles.

Experiencing the joy of sports and the charm of Amakusa City

This year, ANA employees Kohei and Jun Yamashita, both of whom have competed in the Olympics, served as teachers for the track and field class. The two-hour program included demonstrations by top athletes, competition with athletes, and drills to run faster. A total of nearly 100 Amakusa children participated in the morning session for younger elementary school students and the afternoon session for older elementary school students. At the end of the program, a record session was held, and the children's faces beamed with smiles of accomplishment.

Track and field class
Teaching techniques

In addition to this track and field class, they are deepening exchanges with Amakusa City through various sports such as rugby, basketball, and dance.

Interview with the person in charge

Persons in charge from left, Ms. Takayama (Digital Design Lab, ANA Holdings inc.), Mr. Iino (ANA Akindo Co., Ltd., Kumamoto Branch), Mr. Matsumoto (Digital Design Lab, ANA Holdings inc.)
ANA Blue Monsters athletes from left, Mr. Kohei Yamashita (Passenger Service Department, ANA Narita Airport Services Co., Ltd.), Mr. Jun Yamashita (Human Resources Department, ANA)

Mr. Iino from ANA Akindo Co., Ltd., Kumamoto Branch

How did you come up with this project and what are your thoughts behind it?

I was consulted by the city of Amakusa, where I am stationed, to help set up a sports commission. Amakusa City is a car-dominated society, and among the cities in Kumamoto Prefecture, children's lack of physical fitness is seen as an issue. I thought about what the ANA Group could do as part of regional development, including solutions to this problem.
I had been in charge of sports sponsorship for a long time in my career, so my experience and timing matched, and I immediately asked Mr. Matsumoto if he could do something with our employee athletes. I would like to continue to bring smiles to the faces of citizens through sports.

Mr. Matsumoto, creator of ANA Blue Monsters

What do you expect from "Sports x Region x ANA Group"?

ANA Blue Monsters was created with the idea of "solving social issues through sports." Since the ANA Group has employee athletes who excel in various sports and has many branches in Japan, I am hopeful that we can use sports to revitalize local communities. I would be happy to continue visiting various regions to help revitalize local sports communities, improve children's health (obesity, increased screen time, lack of sleep, etc.), and improve their exercise skills and human abilities. At the same time, I would like to increase the number of young, family-oriented ANA fans while contributing to urban development by attracting training camps and sporting events.

ANA Blue Monsters Athletes

How was the event? (Mr. Kohei Yamashita)

It was great to hear the children's positive comments such as, "It was fun," and "My running speed improved". I am always trying to figure out how to make them more happy, but the children's energy always helps me. I would like to thank them for trying their best in the event.

What is your goal as an ANA Athlete employee? (Mr. Jun Yamashita)

Sports can be played anywhere as long as the environment and instructors are available, but there is a shortage of instructors, especially in rural areas. I would be happy if athlete employees could provide children with an opportunity to experience the joy and fun of sports and to start competing by moving their bodies together at events like this one. I hope we can continue to hold events in various locations to energize the local community.

The ANA Group will continue to work together with customers and local communities through sports.

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