The University of Tskuba’s Athletic Department (AD), Temple University (TU), and Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) held the US-Japan Student Athletes Joint Symposium at the University of Tskuba on May 15. Following addresses by TU faculy and staff, student athletes from Tsukuba and TU took to the podium and discussed the current situation of university sports in both countries. This symposium was supported by Dome Corporation, Under Armor’s exclusive agent in Japan.
TU Assistant Professor Elizabeth Taylor presented on “Governance of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association).” Then Justin Miller, senior associate athletic director of the TU Athletic Department, spoke about the management overview of the Resnick Academic Support Center, which specializes in supporting TU student athletes. Two student athletes from Tskuba, Saki Shinobu (women’s handball), a sophomore in social sciences, and Taiga Nojo (baseball), a sophomore in health and sport sciences, made a presentation about the current situation of university sports in Japan and Tskuba’s initiatives.
A panel discussion included four student athletes from TU flew to Japan on their short-term study abroad program. They shared their experiences as NCAA Division 1 student athletes attempting to balance their sports and studies. Panelists included master’s program students Jovahn Fair, an American football player studying higher education, and Blessing Olaode, a fencer studying neuroscience; sophomore Ellias Villegas, a soccer player studying international business; and freshman Averi Salvador, a volleyball player studying accounting. Also joining the panel were University of Tsukuba student athletes Haruka Nakai (volleyball), a junior in health and sport sciences, and Yusuke Kato (handball club), a junior in engineering systems. The students spoke about a wide range of topics including their takeaways from their training visit to the University of Hawaii, their prospects, and their perspectives on university sports from student coach’s perspective.
The Tsukuba student athletes on the panel were among the participants of the two-day intensive course “Global Leadership Program in Sports Management (GLP)” held at TUJ last March. At GLP, seven student athletes from Tsukuba’s baseball team and the men and women’s handball teams were immersed in the all-in-English learning throughout the program and learned about the differences between university sports in Japan and U.S. and discussed the future of university sports in Japan. GLP, developed by TUJ’s Academic English Program, was a preparatory course for the University of Tsukuba’s Athletic Department’s short-term study abroad program scheduled for July at TU Main Campus in Philadelphia.