This time, we moved from the Netherlands to London, England, on the opposite shore. This was the first time for the soccer school to be held outside of Japan and the Netherlands.The organizer of the event was the Maeda Gakuen. It is the first private full-day kindergarten approved by the Ministry of Education in the UK for Japanese children living in the UK. The vast natural grass field of the Kindergarten located in a quiet residential area, was rich in nature and provided a wonderful environment for the children to exercise freely. Unlike the environment I expected when I heard about London, this area has a lot of parks and greenery and is an attractive area where you can find a spot to take a break(from the hustle and bustle,) right next to the main sightseeing and shopping district.
Maeda Gakuen in the UK is committed to providing a place where new learning can take place, and they were well-prepared to host the clinic. The clinic was held for kindergarten and elementary school children of LJJ FC (London Japanese Junior Football Club), the largest Japanese soccer club in London. The atmosphere was very friendly throughout. The clinic including the soccer lesson, a Q&A session, and a photo shooting together with the parents. I am very grateful that we were able to hold such a fulfilling clinic in another country.LJJ FC is not only about the game of soccer, but also about teaching children to understand and develop their independence and potential. This philosophy was clearly seen in the rich expressions on the children’s faces.
I think it is important to create a place where children can have fun and try things on their own initiative. So, I was very happy and grateful to see how much the children enjoyed themselves and actively tried to absorb what they learned. I am looking forward to the day we will be able to kick a ball together again.I realized that I would like to continue to travel across the country to share the joy of soccer with many children, together with the people involved.