Message From Coach Ota

  • 2008/05/03(土) 17:00:17

Hello everyone, I am Takuya Ota representing the Wakuwaku Wrestling Class.

I would like to say a few words on behalf of the staffs and the organization.

First, I would like to tell the story behind the establishment of this Wakuwaku Wrestling Class. Four years ago, I watched the drama “The One and Only (たったひとつのたからもの)” featuring Seiko Matsuda on Nippon Television. This drama was based on a true story of a mother and her son with Down syndrome. After watching the drama, I suddenly wanted children with Down syndrome to experience wrestling. I researched about the disorder but to my dismay, learned that there were many symptoms and congenital disabilities like weak cervical spine. Then, I decided that instead of establishing a class that teaches wrestling as a competitive sport, perhaps a class emphasizing aerobic exercises based on wrestling can be made. With Japan Down Syndrome Society’s support, participants were gathered at the Waseda University’s wrestling room for the first time in July 2005, creating the Wakuwaku Wrestling Class. The first class only had 6 participants, but today our class has grown to 34 members.

In the beginning, it was a new experience for me and there were many confusion, but I was greatly supported by the children’s smiles. Children with Down syndrome are always full of energy, cheerful, and extremely affable. At practice, I am able to coach them while having a wonderful time filled with fun and laughter.

It has been two years since the establishment of our wrestling class, and we are now expanding nationally. Last year, a class was opened at Kyoto Yawata High School, and a wrestling match between the two wrestling classes was hosted at Gifu-Takayama in September. I hope to further expand wrestling classes throughout Japan.

Finally, the class continues in hopes that wrestling will become an official event at the Special Olympics, and will work towards this as a goal instead of a dream.