Skip to main content

Throughout the COVID pandemic it has become clear that the value of sports and overseas sports tour is incredibly important to the development of youth.

Many schools are discovering that compared to the traditional destinations of Europe America and New Zealand that Japan is certainly a wonderful option to consider.

Japan’s accessibility, choice of accommodation, exceptional value for money and deep cultural welcome and add to this the legacy Rugby World Cup 2019 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games makes Japan the number one destination for your sports tour

in 2019 Knox Grammar School approached Connect Tomodachi for their preseason 1st and 2nd XV pre-season tour

To sum it up the coaches and staff regarded this tour of Japan as the best tour the school’s rugby programme had ever done.

Connect Tomodachi’s experience in Japan created an immersion which not only did the Knox rugby programme get the best possible level of play on the field but the deepest and most valuable cultural and friendship experience off the field.

Flying into Fukuoka in the West of Japan the 40 strong player and coaching team spent time hosted by the No 2 high school in Japan in Higashi Fukuoka and treated as VIP’s with functions and a welcome from Fukuoka City Mayor on local TV.

They headed South to the Hot Springs centre of Japan in Oita playing two of the key high schools in Oita City which was to be the venue for the quarter finals of the Rugby World Cup later that year. Oita’s welcome was amazing with invitations of the teams management to opening ceremonies of Rugby World Cups memorial monuments in the city centre.

By bullet train and bus the teams then traversed eastward across Japan over the straits at Shimonoseki through central Japan into Hiroshima for what was to be a moving experience.

Continuing east through Kobe and Himeji and into Osaka and Kyoto the teams reported back to Connect Tomadachi later that the experiences both rugby and non-rugby would be memories they will cherish for a lifetime

In Osaka being hosted by Tokai Gyosei High School was an extremely memorable experience with exchange matches and after match functions before boarding the bullet train towards Tokyo.

Connect Tomodachi created experiences in Japan that were way out of the ordinary.

Knox Grammar experienced Sumo stable life at Meiji University, Kendo with the high schools they visite.  These century old Japanese martial arts left an impression on the group for their discipline and single mindedness in pursuit of perfection.

They attended high school baseball games.

Stayed in modern and traditional Japanese accommodation

And we’re even hosted at a special reception by the Japan Top League 1 rugby chairman.

They were welcomed into classrooms to experience Japanese student life and learn the fine art of calligraphy.

When Connect Tomodachi visited Knox Grammar School later that year many of the boys who had been on that tour reported it as one of the greatest experiences of their lives.

Were you on this tour? Share your experiences below.

Peter Gibson

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

Leave a Reply