Eko Sakamoto was one of the young participants, representing Kokushikan University, Japan, that took part in our Erasmus+ Sport funded Youth Exchange.
Read about her experience.
I was able to learn about the significance and effects of tackling the 17 goals for a sustainable society through sports at Sport for Sustainable Development Youth Exchange. I also understood the importance of considering the SDGs from a familiar perspective. What was particularly impressive to me was that I deepened my understanding of what each country, company, sports organization, etc. is doing for the SDGs. The picture below shows the actual notes I filled out during the discussion.
My group discussed the efforts of International Fencing Federation (FIE), where athletes donate their used fencing gear. By doing so, FIE is able to achieve three of the SDGs goals at the same time. This case shows that sports are deeply connected to the SDGs. Through this seminar, I strongly felt that I would like to further increase my knowledge of the SDGs and deepen my thoughts on the relationship between sports and the SDGs.
Photo: Anna Szilágyi
Through various activities I had many opportunities to visit different places and exercise with other participants. There were some of the activities I had never experienced before. These experiences filled my heart with unforgettable memories. Moreover, I was able to share my excitement with people from other countries and also this made the experience all the more enriching. We visited the Generation Foot and the SOS village. This experience made me truly appreciate the environment where I can live, exercise, and learn without any inconvenience. I also realized that it is important to always keep thinking about what I can do to help those in need.
For the first time, I was deeply involved with people from various countries. I felt the language and cultural barriers. However, in order to deepen exchanges, I found it effective to actively express my thoughts and introduce my own culture. I also felt that it is wonderful not only to find commonalities but also to recognize differences when interacting with people from other countries.
I also learned about the excellent thinking, judging, and expressive abilities of people from other countries. They are able to think deeply about everything, and they are able to express their thoughts and feelings. They thought deeply about everything, found questions, and shared them with those around them. I was very impressed by their appearance. The ability to think, judge, and express is one of the most important aspects of school education in Japan. I felt that these skills reflect the will to learn itself, to learn independently. I was strongly motivated to nurture these skills in children as a teacher in the future.
Photo: Anna Szilágyi