The United Nations General Assembly has designated June 20 as World Refugee Day for the purpose of promoting understanding with regard to refugees. In recognition of this endeavor, on June 25th, Nissan along with the Waseda University Volunteer Center (WAVOC) held the World Refugee Day Futsal Tournament 2006 in order to promote interaction between refugees residing in Japan and Japanese people through sports activity. Corporate Citizenship is one of the pillars of Nissan’s organizational tie-up with Waseda University, on which a memorandum of understanding was signed in February this year. It was the first co-hosted event serving as an activity in the area of corporate citizenship. Nissan employees also participated in the tournament’s excitement-filled matches, fielding a team of employee volunteers chosen through a special drawing.
The tournament was held at the Nissan Stadium, “sacred ground” for soccer where World Cup matches in Japan have been played. The venue was dashingly adorned with tournament banners and the flags of various countries. Following greetings by the parties involved, radio calisthenics led by the originator of Toshihiko Aoyama, and other activities, the matches got underway.
With the refugees and Japanese people combined, a total of 12 teams competed in a tournament-style format. Side events, including cheerleading and yosakoi dancing, took place during the course of the tournament, and the festive mood built to a climax. In the final, the team from Laos, participating for its first time this year, achieved an impressive victory, and was presented a trophy and a commemorative futsal ball.
With the slogan “One ball, no borders,” all the participants were able to promote international goodwill while working up a refreshing sweat, and the tournament proved to be deeply meaningful. This large-scale futsal tournament, which had the participation of 300 people, including foreign futsal players, Japanese futsal players, organizational staff volunteers, ended in success, and all the participants came away with profound memories that they will always carry in their hearts.