A sponsorship agreement for IBSA Blind Football Asian Championships 2019 (“Asian Championships 2019”) has been concluded between three parties: Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“Santen” headquartered in Osaka, represented by Chairman and CEO Akira Kurokawa,), the International Blind Football Foundation (“IBF Foundation” in Shinjuku, Tokyo by Chief Director Eigo Matsuzaki), and the NPO Japan Blind Football Association (“JBFA” in Shinjuku, Tokyo by Chief Director Shiro Shiojima). The Asian Championships 2019 will start on September 30, 2019 in Pattaya, Thailand.
The Blind Football Asian Championships, held every two years and hosted by the IBSA (International Blind Sports Federation), is a competition for the best team in Asian Blind Football. The Asian Championships 2019 plays an important role as the final qualifier in determining the two places from the Asian region at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Santen’s sponsorship for the Asian Championships 2019, which attracts great deal of attention in the Asian region, has been decided after much discussion among the three parties; the IBF Foundation, an authorized sponsor, the JBFA, which has entered a partnership agreement with Santen, and Santen.
The IBF Foundation supports dissemination of blind football worldwide. With the current support, the foundation aims to realize its motto—“Overcome disability with blind football”—by encouraging more people to experience this athletic event. As a specialized company dedicated to ophthalmology, Santen supports blind football to help society understand and take an interest in eye diseases and also to encourage Santen members’ awareness of the perspectives of visually impaired people and patients with eye diseases. Santen hopes that this opportunity will enhance public understanding of eyes, popularize blind sports, and further contribute to visually impaired persons and patients with eye diseases.
Through our support of the Asian Championships 2019, Santen, the IBF Foundation, and the JBFA will contribute to building a society where everyone can enjoy a life worth living regardless of the presence or absence of disability, to elevating public awareness of eye health, and to improving people’s QOL (quality of life).
IBSA Blind Football Asian Championships 2019
Duration: September 27 to October 7, 2019
Venue: Pattaya Youth Center (Thailand)
Participating countries: 8 – Thailand, China, Iran, Korea, India, Malaysia, Japan, and Oman
Class: B1 (total blindness class)
Feature: Top two countries qualify to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Championship website: https://thailandsabt.wixsite.com/ibsa-bf-ac2019
Summary of the sponsorship agreement
Agreement duration: From the day of the agreement conclusion to October 31, 2019
Agreement coverage: Various rights relevant to the sporting venue and its surrounding areas.
Santen’s activities: Santen plans to send employees from each Asian county/area as volunteers to support preparation, operation and players of Asian Championships 2019.
As a specialized company dedicated to ophthalmology, Santen carries out research, development, marketing, and sales of pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter products, and medical devices. Santen is the market leader for prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals in Japan and its products now reach patients in over 60 countries. With scientific knowledge and organizational capabilities nurtured over a nearly 130-year history, Santen provides products and services to contribute to the well-being of patients, their loved ones and consequently to society. For more information, please visit Santen’s website (www.santen.com).
With the motto “Overcome disability with blind football,” the IBF Foundation was established in January 11, 2019, with the aim of improving the quality of life of visually impaired people all over the world by making blind football into a widely played global sport and by strengthening athletic organizations in individual countries. Through blind football, the foundation strives to solve three factors (i.e., impairment, activity limitation, and participation restriction) defined as International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health by the World Health Organization (WHO), and takes measures including (1) intermediary activities, (2) collaboration with partners, and (3) conducting activities as a major operator.
Based on the knowledge and know-how gathered in September 2001 by visiting Korea, which at the time was the only Asian country that had adopted blind football, the Japan Blind Football Association has been established in October 2002, represented by Misako Kamamoto as Chief Director. In October 2015 it became a nonprofit organization. Blind Football is included in the Paralympic Games, and it has been decided that Japan is qualified to participate as well since it is hosting the Tokyo 2020 Games. In addition to the world championships in 2014 and Asian Championships in 2015, both held in Shibuya, Tokyo, the JBFA has expanded its business diversification such as through “Supo-iku (Sport cultivation)” and “OFF TIME Biz,” broadening the scope of activities beyond the framework of a conventional organization that focuses only on strengthening athletic ability.
Association website: http://www.b-soccer.jp/(in Japanese)
Corporate Communications Group, Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
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