Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Japan's Waseda Uni exchanges with Valencia CF

Recalling that FC Tokyo's ex-Waseda University player, Yuhei Tokunaga, was almost signed by Spain's Valencia Club de Futbol, it comes as no surprise that the Japanese university has developed formal football links with the six times winner of both Primera Liga and the King's Cup. A member of Europe's powerful G14 club forum, VCF is a regular contestant in the UEFA Champions League and won its third UEFA Cup in 2003/2004. Generally regarded as one of two best private universities in Japan, Tokyo's Waseda University is prominent in football development through its School of Sports Sciences as well as its Waseda Sports Center-affiliated football club.

In November 2005 the Waseda Sports Center concluded a Sports Exchange Agreement with Valencia Club de Futbol to strengthen its exchange programs in athletic as well as in academic areas. Under the agreement, selected Waseda football players will train with the VCF during summer vacation, Valencia coaches will be invited to Waseda and the Waseda coaching staff will have a chance to participate in a training program with Valencia. Students majoring in Sports Management in the Waseda School of Sports Science will also have the opportunity to study their subject in Valencia during the summer vocation.

The first three Waseda participants chosen for VCF training were Yuhei Tokunaga, Shogo Tokihisa and Shingo Hyodo, all of whom were competitors in the Japanese University Football Association and won the gold medal during the Universiade in Turkey in August 2005.

Waseda University is hosting the third congress of the Asian Association for Sport Management (AASM) on 30 August - 2 September 2006. Researchers from various countries and regions in Asia including Japan and Korea, which have the experience of hosting the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup and China, which is making preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, will gather to discuss the development of sport management in Asia. Dr Tetsuo Fukunaga of Waseda University is editor of the International Journal of Sport and Health Science (published by the Japan Society of Physical Education, Health and Sport Sciences) which is available free online.

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