NOC*NSF has the ambition to actively promote the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the country where the Games are organized. In the early hours of preparation for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, NOC*NSF organized a project for scholars from the favelas in the Brazilian city. The success of the project has encouraged NOC*NSF to organize a civic social project for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo as well, which is called the Game Changer Project.
Game Changer Project Tokyo 2020
In the aftermath of the Olympic Games in Rio, NOC*NSF initiated meetings with Japanese sports organizations, governmental bodies and educational institutions. It turned out from these conversations that individuals with an impairment are facing challenges in Japanese society. Access to buildings, public transportation or sports facilities are sufficiently available indeed, but the integration of disabled individuals in Japanese society could be improved.
Sports, by all means, is an excellent way to give people with an impairment self-confidence, to facilitate their integration in society as well as to strengthen and enhance the contact between individuals with and without an impairment.
The Dutch sports world has gained a lot of experience as regards the integration of individuals with an impairment. This experience and knowledge may be an asset for Japan and, therefore, NOC*NSF has decided to put the integration of disabled people at the heart of its civic social project, so as to contribute to the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.
The NOC*NSF project focuses on two primary activities:
- Knowledge exchange and
At least once a year, Dutch experts will share their knowledge and experience as regards sports for the disabled with sports clubs, schools and governmental bodies in Tokyo. The knowledge transfer primarily focuses on the strengthening of these organizations, so as to enable that these organizations can offer, realize and independently implement a sports program for individuals with an impairment in the future.
In addition, and also at least once a year, Dutch Paralympic and Olympic athletes will travel to Tokyo in order to inspire and motivate disabled people, their families, teachers, coaches et cetera with their personal stories, their passion and their Paralympic or Olympic accomplishments.
In the Game Changer project, NOC*NSF closely cooperates with the Japan Sport Council (JSC) and three city districts (wards) in Tokyo.
The Japan Sport Council is an organization which is related to the Japanese Ministry of Sport, and which is responsible for the implementation of the sports policy by the Japanese government. An important part of this policy is the integration of disabled people in Japanese society via sports.
In cooperation with NOC*NSF, the Japan Sport Council has selected three city districts which envision to focus in particular on the integration of people with an impairment for the upcoming years. These city districts are: Edogawa City, Nishitokyo and Adachi City.
The duration of the project is until December 2020. NOC*NSF believes that the partners involved and other Japanese organizations will have acquired sufficient knowledge and inspiration during this period after which they are able to independently continue with the project themselves.
- 10 October 2017
NOC*NSF, the Japan Sport Council and the three city districts sign a cooperation agreement at the Residence of the Dutch Ambassador in Tokyo.
- 4 up till and including11 November 2017
NOC*NSF organizes the first workshops in Tokyo. The Dutch IPC-member Ms Rita van Driel, in her role as expert, and the Paralympic table tennis player Ms Kelly van Zon, in her role as inspiring athlete, give the workshops.
- 19 up till and including 23 November 2017
A delegation of JSC and the three city districts attends workshops in the Netherlands and visits institutions for people with an impairment and training facilities for Paralympic athletes.
- 25 up till and including 29 June 2018
NOC*NSF organizes a second workshop for the city district in Tokyo. The workshops are given by Mr Dolf Nijbroek (coach korfball for people with an impairment), Ms Marjolijn de Boer (MEE Rotterdam, an organization which is the linking pin between Rotterdam citizen with an impairment and sports clubs), and Ms Rita van Driel (NOC*NSF).
- 8 up till and including 12 October 2018
NOC*NSF organizes a third workshop for the city districts in Tokyo. Ms Rita van Driel gives the workshops.
- 4 up till and including 8 February 2019
NOC*NSF organizes the fourth workshop for the city districts in Tokyo. Paralympic wheelchair basketball players Ms Mariska Beijer and Ms Bo Kramer, in their role as inspiring athletes, and the experts Ms Rita van Driel and Ms Marjolijn de Boer (MEE Rotterdam), give the workshops.
- 1 up till and including 5 July 2019
NOC*NSF organizes the fifth workshop for the city districts in Tokyo. Paralympic athlete and European champion Ms Marlène van Gansewinkel and Ms Rita van Driel give the workshops.
- 16 up till and inlcuding 20 September 2019
A delegation of JSC and the three city districts attend second workshop in the Netherlands. The delegation will talk to Dutch experts and visit institutions for people with an impairment and training facilities for Paralympic athletes.