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Connect Tomodachi was born a year or so before the Rugby World Cup in Japan and really found its feet leading into and during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. With Japan as Australia’s second-largest trading partner and most valued friend in the region, The Australian Olympic Committee was the first and only National Olympic Committee to create an online program connecting the youth of the Olympic host nation and Australia through the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic sport.

Thanks to the support of both Governments and a number of high-profile organisations such as The Australia Japan Foundation, The Australian Embassy in Tokyo, The Japanese Embassy in Canberra Connect Tomodachi excelled all expectations with 20,000 school students from 611 classes being matched online to share language and cultural exchange. The feedback from the program was overwhelming. Over 90% of participants wished to visit their sister school as soon as it was possible post-COVID.

It is here that the 2022 version of Connect Tomodachi was created to assist those groups who want to visit each other’s countries and deepen their relationship are able to do so.

Peter Gibson

Executive Advisor Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games Australian Olympic Committee | Paralympics Australia | Japan-Australia Trade Relations & Business Development

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