The Nippon Foundation established Paralympic Support Center to support para-sports and para-athlete with a 10 billion-yen fund (about 81.1 million USD) in June, 2015, ahead of the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
The business was launched under the slogan of “Challenge for Tomorrow”. It will promote the Paralympic Movement in assisting the Japanese Paralympic Committee (JPC) and National para-sport Federation (NFCs).
The Paralympic Support Center will focus on seven projects with the aim of hosting successful Tokyo 2020.
- Building a support framework for para-sport leagues
First of all, it is planning to establish an office in Japan, and then will recruit experts who can run this business effectively.
- Creating an environment in which athletes can focus on their training
The Paralympic Support Center aims to improve para-athletes’ general sporting environment including training venues.
- Promoting awareness of the Paralympic Games
It will provide public lectures and seminars regarding Paralympic Games to educational institutions and companies, in order to encourage Paralympic Movement in Japan. Also the center will organize various events. For example, in South Korea, Organizing Committee for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games celebrated its first Paralympic Day event this March, and this event will be held every year until the year for the 2018 Paralympics in PyeongChang. This can be a good model of the Paralympic event. Lastly, it will foster awareness of the Paralympics and para-athletes through mass media as well as social media.
- Promoting Paralympic volunteerism
The center will train volunteer leaders who can lead volunteers in the time for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
- Conducting Paralympic-related academic research with The Nippon Foundation Paralympic Research Group
The Nippon Foundation set up The Nippon Foundation Paralympic Research Group in June, 2014. Its main purpose is ‘to study the history and perspectives of the Paralympic Movement and based on this study to put forward suggestions and possibilities for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games’. The research work includes to analyze past Paralympic Games and to evaluate the social and economic significance of the Paralympics. In the end, this research will be applied to Tokyo 2020. The Group will release a set of recommendations in the spring of 2016.
- Supporting para-sports internationally
It is aiming to support para-sports and para-athletes not only in Japan but also in developing countries where is struggling with a lack of fund.
- Supporting culture and the arts for people with impairments
Besides para-sports, The Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center will also promote art work and cultural activities, done by people with impairments.
Yasushi Yamawaki President of JPC chaired the center. Moreover, it will seek advice from international officials: Tim Reddish, British Paralympic Association President, Andrew Parson, Brazilian Paralympic Committee President, and Haidi Zhang, National Paralympic Committee of China President. They will help The Nippon Paralympic Support Center to broaden international aspects.