Making Fujiyoshida the “Sacred Land of Rugby” ~How to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Pre-Tournament Training a Success~ 【RWC2019 Official Team Camp Public Engagement】 (Part ④)
As the French National Team wrapped up their Preliminary Team Camp and moved into their Official Team Camp training, they were kind enough to participate in some cultural exchange programs with residents of our city during their limited free time as they prepared diligently for their first game.
We are incredibly grateful to the French National Team for their generosity.
・For more information regarding the Official Training Camp see here.
In one effort to engage with the public, the team opened one of their practices up to public spectators and participated in an autograph and photo session afterwards. In addition, the team’s official welcome ceremony drew large crowds of local residents who filled the venue to show their support. Following the ceremony the team traveled to Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine, a component World Cultural Heritage site, for their official team photograph.
What’s a Welcome Ceremony?
An official event of the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan in which each of the 20 Official Team Camps showcases their local history and culture while celebrating the national team whom they are hosting. It’s a meaningful ceremony that bonds the team with their team camp community.
【September 14, 2019: Public practice, photo and autograph session】
Spectators came from near and far to watch the public practice and participate in the photo and autograph session. We were so incredibly grateful to the team for allowing us this special opportunity. Spectators raved about how moved they were to get up close and personal with the players for this once in a lifetime experience and how much they would like to see something like this again during the Tokyo Olympic Games.
【September 15, 2019: Official Welcome Ceremony & team photo】
The Official Welcome Ceremony drew crowds of locals of all ages. We could hear young people talking about how cool the athletes looked in their suits and how excited they were to have received autographs while older participants could be heard talking about how moved they were to participate in such a unique event.
Similar public engagement is planned for the pre-tournament training camp for the French National Rugby Sevens Team leading up to the Tokyo Olympic Games. Such initiatives were also implemented during the pre-tournament training camp for the French Female Sevens when the team participated in a public practice and receive a Shinto blessing at Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja Shrine (see here for further details regarding the pre-tournament training program for the French Female Sevens)
Fujiyoshida is committed to continuing to provide this invaluable opportunity for the public to engage with the athletes during the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Continued on “Making Fujiyoshida the “Sacred Land of Rugby” ~How to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Pre-Tournament Training a Success~ 【Fostering Momentum Ahead of the RWC Games】 (Part ⑤)”
Fujiyoshida City Hall / City Planning Department
International Sports Competition Training Camp Invitation Promotion Office
(Japanese Inquiries only)