Aug.21.2017Cultural interaction through sport, experienced at the first international competition. (Participant of the World Masters Games 2017 Auckland, Ms. Kiyoko Yamamoto (Badminton))
“Voices from the participants of the World Masters Games 2017 Auckland Vol.9 Ms. Kiyoko Yamamoto”
●Impressions after participated in the World Masters Games 2017 Auckland
Ms. Kiyoko Yamamoto participated in Badminton Singles and Doubles at the World Masters Games 2017 Auckland. Ms. Yamamoto met badminton after started working. She learned about the pleasures of badminton at the company recreation and started playing seriously when she was 25 years old.
Ms. Yamamoto participated in the World Masters Games 2017 Auckland was to be invited by her friend living in Fukuoka far away from Hiroshima where she lives. She had never been to New Zealand. So, she decided to participate in badminton because it was a good opportunity for her to visit New Zealand and to challenge the international competition.
Ms. Yamamoto says, “In order to participate in the international competition, I’ve been thinking that it is natural to win the qualifying round in Japan and then to participate as a Japanese delegate. However, I learned that there was an international competition which anyone who is over the age of 30 can participate in, and which anyone can play games with athletes from all over the world. So, I thought it is a great chance for me. I tried playing badminton happily.” I should play with my best since I participate, she thought. However, she lives far away from doubles partner, the lives in Hiroshima and Fukuoka, and didn’t have a chance to practice together. To that extent, she practiced hard in singles with younger athletes at her club, as a competition style.
In singles, she aimed to win within 3rd place. Despite a good fight, she lost in the game to decide 3rd placed and regrettably did not reach the goal of medal acquisition. On the other hand, in doubles, they were a perfect pair, so they won a silver medal. She was able to enjoy badminton fully.
●The enthusiasm for World Masters Games 2021 KANSAI
It is one of the attractions of World Masters Games that you can enjoy at any age as you can play in the same age category. In the Auckland Game, Ms. Yamamoto participated in a total of 10 members, including her friend in Fukuoka. Ms. Yamamoto’s friends and others, people from other countries were such energetic people who did not look like over 70 years old at all. She says, “When I saw the quick footwork of the athletes in the court, I also wanted to participate in the Kansai Game four years later and the next Game eight years later, in a good health.”
Besides that, Ms. Yamamoto felt the attraction unique to the international competition of cultural interaction through sport. She talks about the attraction of the WMG, “Even if I do not understand the words, the rules are the same. If I play well, people from other countries will support me as well. In addition, we did “high touch” even after the game and we practiced together if we met at the venue. Although it is a scene that I did not see much in the competition in Japan, we took a commemorative photo including the referee before and after the game. And we exchanged gifts which we brought from each country. My souvenirs were “Sensu” and “Uchiwa” and so on. I still treasures souvenirs received from the other players.”