A trial session was held on Sunday, 19 January for university students interested in learning more about wheelchair softball at Kamakura Laboratory.
The event was held to give the attendees a deeper understanding of wheelchair softball, and the trial sessions and lectures were the students’ first opportunity to learn about “parasports.” Despite the cold weather, the students were bright and lively, and worked up a sweat. Though it was their first time using a wheelchair designed for athletes, the students quickly caught on. Their hard work and effort paid off, and they went from learning the basics all the way through to holding a practice match. During lunch, they attended a lecture from Leo Onuki, a member of Japan’s national wheelchair softball team, where they learned about the rules and the appeal of the sport. They also watched a video where they could learn more, ask questions, and get feedback.
Comments from participants
I attended the Trial Session with a very childish intention of just wanting to see how fast I could get the wheelchair to go! But after attending and learning more, my view on parasports changed considerably.
It’s a great communication tool. I learned that a unique aspect of wheelchair softball is that points are assigned depending on the extent of one’s disability. According to the rules of the sport, the points of a team’s lineup must be within a predetermined limit. The fact that matches in parasports a broken down into classifications, and that non-disabled participants can join as well, really showed me the true meaning of diversity, and the importance of it throughout.
I was really fascinated by seeing that no matter your gender, age, or experience, players of all kinds could play to their best on the same field. I look forward to seeing the sport gain in popularity. After joining this trail session, I’ve gained in interest in learning more about other parasports that I have yet to take notice of.
Teams in wheelchair softball are composed of both disabled and non-disabled athletes. It is a barrier-free sport, where anyone – regardless of gender, age, or nationality – can participate and enjoy the game on the same playing field.
Chugai supports parasports and works to create an inclusive society where everyone can participate freely.