Sumitomo Electric has organized athletics practices for local junior high school students in Itami City, in collaboration with the city' s Athletics Association, for four years. On January 14, we held the third session of fiscal 2011 athletics practice. Despite the chilly cloudy weather, many students and teachers participated in the event. Members of our company’s athletics club coached the participants.
I myself joined the junior high school students in the session, doing stretching exercise and jogging for about one hour. It was a good opportunity for me to refresh and rejuvenate myself after the busy days at the beginning of the New Year.
As I saw students working out at my side, I hoped that they would not only enhance their competitive skills but also would learn, through sports, to have good manners, to be thankful and to set their own goals and make efforts to achieve their goals. I also hoped that each of our athletics club members would, through instruction of junior high school students and interaction with local residents, take another look at track and field, from a standpoint different from that of competitive athletes, and feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment as a member of a company’s sports club.
I started this program, hoping to contribute to the promotion of track and field, a sport through which I developed myself, with the aim of helping enhance competitive skills of young people, who are the creators of the future. To our joy, a participant in our athletics practice program in its first year is going to join Sumitomo Electric this April. A person who took part in our program later joins our company, performs tasks achieving a good balance between work and athletics, and coaches junior high school students under the same program--such a dream plan is about to come true. Track and field is a sport that forms the basis of all other sports. However, there is no professional league or the like for athletics. To promote and enhance this sport, various types of assistance are needed. Although our athletics practice program is basically grass-roots support, we continue to promote such community-based activities more widely.
For the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, selection trials will start soon in Japan and abroad. The next several months are bound to be a crucial period for athletes aiming to participate in the Olympics. I wish them the best of luck in gaining the opportunity to compete on the big stage at the Games, which comes around only every four years.
Meanwhile, the Sumitomo Electric Group will be entering the final year of its five-year business plan, VISION 2012, in April. We are facing far more difficult business conditions than we could have anticipated when VISION 2012 was drawn up in 2007. Still, I would like to affirm that all members of the Sumitomo Electric Group are determined to keep trying our very best to achieve the goals of VISION 2012. With a little more than one year left until the end of fiscal 2012, we will start the final spurt. Your continued support and encouragement will be most highly appreciated.