NPO Utsukushima Sports Rooters
(An NPO responsible for commissioned projects such as holding training sessions for sports volunteers in Fukushima Prefecture)
|Address||14 Motomachi, Omori, Fukushima, Fukushima Prefecture|
|Representative||Mr. Tsuyoshi Yunojiri, Director|
|Field of Activity||Sports volunteers|
|Locations of Service||Athletic fields and other sports facilities within Fukushima Prefecture|
Profile of Organization
NPO Utsukushima Sports Rooters is a non-profit organization that was established in 2005 under a mission of “growing and cultivating the culture of sports volunteering in Fukushima Prefecture.” Each year, we volunteer at nearly 100 sports events that take place within Fukushima Prefecture.
About 400 members are currently active, holding and taking part in training sessions that are meant to build up volunteering skills and networking events that connect volunteers from all over Japan. We also send our members to provide volunteer training at various sports events.
What Utsukushima Sports Rooters do:
- Sending our volunteers to sports events that take place within the prefecture
In addition to connecting sports events with willing volunteers, we aim to make “activities more fun and satisfying for both the events’ organizers and volunteers.” To achieve this goal, we provide ideas and suggestions to organizers regarding sending our volunteers to their events.
- Recruiting volunteers, building up skills
We hold training sessions in various parts of Fukushima Prefecture (note that Fukushima is a very large prefecture) throughout the year and strive to recruit individuals who are willing to work as sports volunteers. To make volunteer activities more efficient and attractive, we also run leader training sessions that enable experienced volunteers to check the basics at all times and develop know-how on becoming volunteer leaders.
- Making friends and interacting with other members while utilizing local resources
Various networking events take place throughout the year, such as “imoni kai” (taro and meat soup party) in fall, end-of-the-year party and frequent golf competitions, and volunteer members of all ages, genders and occupations socialize in an open and equal atmosphere. We also have connections with many volunteer organizations throughout Japan. In February 2017, we held the “Tohoku Sports Volunteer Summit,” which was attended by about 60 volunteers from across the country. During the summit, the participants enjoyed food and sake of Fukushima and visited J-Village, which became a symbol of Fukushima’s recovery.
- Led volunteers during the “Kawauchi no Sato Kaeru Marathon ”（Come-Home-to-Kawauchi Marathon）
Rooters was responsible for bringing together and leading volunteers who supported the marathon event that started in Kawauchi – a village where the entire population of 2,000 people temporarily evacuated after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Normally, volunteers help out only on the day of the event; this time, however, our volunteer leader became part of the executive committee as well. As a result, we were able to not only make the event a success through an efficient utilization of volunteers but also make it a rewarding and fulfilling experience for them.
- Held “Training sessions for new sports volunteers” utilizing the Japan Sports Volunteer Network (JSVN) program
In 2017, we received a request from Fukushima Prefecture to hold training sessions for new sports volunteers in five places across the prefecture. These training sessions utilized the program developed by JSVN, the only organization in the country to establish qualifications related to sports volunteers. Until now, over 200 people have participated in these sessions. Afterward, the participants took part in hands-on training at sports events where Rooters was asked to provide volunteering service. This gave rise to a positive cycle in which a participant feels the excitement of working as a volunteer, thus signing up to become a member and further extending and expanding the limits of their activities.