Host Towns Hoping to Boost Exchanges after Tokyo Games

Sports Politics

Tokyo, July 25 (Jiji Press)--Japanese municipalities that hosted athletes from around the world for the Tokyo Olympic Games last year are working to turn exchanges with the athletes' home countries into an Olympic legacy.

For the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, many local governments partnered with specific countries outside Japan to accept athletes for training sessions and interactions with local residents.

The city of Ota in Gunma Prefecture, eastern Japan, had accepted the Australian women's national softball team for a training camp before the Olympics. The city wanted to build on the relationship with the team formed through the Games.

After the city asked the Australian side to send an athlete, former Olympic hopeful Stephanie Trzcinski, 26, arrived in Japan to work as an assistant language teacher at Ota Municipal High School and coach the school's softball club from April this year.

The school is known to be one of the powerhouses of high school girls' softball teams in Japan. No one on the team can even hit the ball thrown by Trzcinski, who plays as pitcher, if she delivers the pitches at full force, the club's supervisor said. Students are already showing signs of improving thanks to her coaching, according to the supervisor.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press