Let´s go girls!
We are talking about blind about What's the day we have lived! No one will ever forget the great experience that took place in Tokyo during the past February. And this was just a kick off for the future world events. football, of course. And this time, specifically about female blind football .
Everything started when IBF Foundation (International Blind Football Foundation) and its director Mr Eigo Matsuzaki decided that it was important to help in the promotion of female blind football. football players from all over the world, in order to have a really inclusive IBSA Women's ́s Blind Football Camp . I was a big effort for IBF Foundation tickets, meals and accommodation.
The very first international women's camp was held in Vienna, Austria, in 2017. Between the participants, the whole Female Japanese National Team was present.
IBF Foundation´s idea was to have participant from all over the World this time. And the idea worked! There were 32 people taking part in the event from 5 different continents!
The female blind players, the coaches and the guides arrived in Tokyo on February 20th. They came from near countries, like Australia, and for very far countries, like Argentina and Zimbabwe. Thanks to IBF Foundation efforts, all of them were accommodated in the very comfortable Washington Shinjuku Hotel.
The first night everyone was very tired due to the long trip from their countries. However, none of them wanted to miss the welcome dinner, which was a great moment to start meeting their team mates. Food, drinks and laughs were followed by the first surprise of the trip: each one of the participants received a beautiful pink official IBSA Women´s Blind Football Camp t-shirt, thanks to the sponsorship of Tanaka Co.
First training day started early in the morning but no one complained, because every participant was very anxious to begin. After arriving at Nihon University, a 1-hour seminar was held where Mr Mariano Travaglino (IBSA Referee Coordinator) could explained to the participants the Rules of the sport. After that, the training started: Mr Toussaint Akpweh, international coach, delivered 2 sessions of trainings with the players, introducing basic moments and systems of play.
On February 22nd the players took part in 2 trainings too, but this time with a different system: guides and coaches worked in reduce groups and the players had the opportunity of experience different ways of working. In the afternoon it was a beautiful event of “hand stamp” where every participant could help. To close that day, 2 friendly matches were played by the players in order to practise everything that they have learnt. And then, more gifts appeared: every one received a towel from Audi and IBF Foundation provided the players with football uniform (red jerseys, red shorts and red socks).
Happiness, anxiety, nerves, laughs and long silences. All those feelings surrounded the players on Saturday 23rd when they traveled to Saiden Chemical Arena in Saitahama City to play their very first official match as a team. It was a great match with a great show of Japanese drums and watching the great dance of the young cheerleaders, the 1033 people who were present at the stadium welcome with a great applause of the IBSA Women's team. Who won? Who lost? None of the participants even care about care about that, because all of them were winners thanks to this amazing IBSA Women's ́s Blind Football Camp organized by IBF Foundation .
It was a night of celebration: their celebrate their learning during the camp, their celebrate their new friendships in the sports world, and they go on celebrating the future of Women Bs Blind Football has just started!
Detail of participants in the event:
- Football Players: 14 women (1 from Argentina, 1 from Australia, 1 from UK, 1 from Germany, 3 from Japan, 2 from Nigeria, 3 from Sweden, 1 from Zimbabwe)
- Female Japanese National Team
- Goalkeepers: 3 women (1 from Austria, 1 from Japan, 1 from Nigeria)
- Coaches: 5 men (1 from France, 1 from UK, 3 from Japan)
- Guides: 5 people: 2 women (1 from Zimbabwe and 1 from Nigeria) + 3 men (1 from Argentina, 1 from Australia and 1 from Sweden)
- Trainer: 1 woman from Japan
- People from foreign federations: 2 women from Nigeria
- Manager from IBSA: 1 man (from UK)
- IBSA Referee Coordinator: 1 man (from Argentina)