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SPORTS YOKOHAMA Vol.46:

Women's Rugby in Yokohama

The environment surrounding women’s rugby has substantially changed in the past several years. One big reason behind this is that rugby sevens has been chosen as an official event at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. With Tokyo hosting a Summer Olympic Games six years later in 2020, momentum is picking up rapidly. In line with this trend, an increasing number of women’s rugby teams, hosted by enterprises, universities and the like, are springing up throughout the nation.
Did you know that women’s rugby is very popular in Yokohama City?
It all started 17 years ago when firefighters in Tsurumi Ward began to play tag rugby with children in a local park. The number of kids who came to play grew over the years to an excess of 50. The elementary school pupils playing with the firefighters won the all-Japan elementary school tag rugby championship three years in a row since its inaugural year in 2005. Among these pupils who started playing tag rugby in this park are Ayaka Suzuki, Marie Yamaguchi and Yoko Suzuki, who all later became members of the national team. Currently, there are four rugby schools in Yokohama City, and many female players are enrolled in each school.
In a move to give further momentum to women’s rugby in Yokohama, YOKOHAMA TKM, the largest company-backed team in the city, and KA-RA-DA Factory A.P. Pirates, a new team launched this year, are gearing up to make a leap forward. Let’s find out more about these female rugby players who are looking to play in the national team or make the Olympic squad.

Text of the introductory part supervised by: Yokohama Rugby Football Union
Information and photos provided by: KA-RA-DA Factory A.P. Pirates and YOKOHAMA TKM
Researched and written and photos provided by: Hideaki Seki (Yokohama Sports Association)

Totsuka-based YOKOHAMA TKM Aims to Play on the World Stage

YOKOHAMA TKM, Japan’s first women’s rugby team, was established on August 8, 2011, by the Yokohama Hakuteikai, a healthcare corporation that runs medical institutions including Totsuka Kyoritsu No. 1 Hospital. The logo of the team features cherry blossoms, the flower of Totsuka Ward where the team is based. It also symbolizes the aspirations of the team to become members of the national team. The straight line concatenating the letters T, K and M signifies teamwork (kizuna). Full of dreams and hopes, with the logo featuring cherry blossoms embroidered on their uniforms, the members of this Totsuka-based rugby team are aiming to play on the world stage.

 YOKOHAMA TKM

Members

Captain
Ikumi Suzuki (BK) Nobuko Noge (FW) Mana Yamato (BK) Anna Oshima (BK) Azusa Yama (FW) Maiko Fujimoto (FW) Aoi Mimura (BK) Reiko Tanaka (BK) Rei Yamada (BK) Rinako Yokoyama (BK) Saori Yamamoto (FW) Risa Arai (FW) Arisa Sakamoto (FW) Mayumi Takahashi (referee) Ai Hyugaji (FW)   Tomomi Kozasa (BK) Head Coach Nobuaki Hanaoka

(FW: Forwards BK: Backs)

 YOKOHAMA TKM  YOKOHAMA TKM
 YOKOHAMA TKM

INTERVIEW

 Nobuaki Hanaoka, Head CoachWhat is the appeal of a women’s rugby team and being the head coach of TKM?

Men’s 15-a-side rugby has a long history of more than 100 years, and there is a wide power gap between the Japanese team and the world’s strong national teams. In women’s rugby, by contrast, there is no single country that is far more advanced than the rest. So, I feel that, if Japanese female players keep improving their physical strength and skill, they may be able to achieve more than male players have done in the past. To put it another way, they have the potential to get close to the world’s top players. So our challenge is how much we can actually do to accomplish this goal.

What kind of team is TKM?

I see TKM as a team that will certainly grow to achieve better results in the future. I hope that the players will mature by acquiring basic skills, improving physical strength and learning many other things.
Since our team is backed by the Yokohama Hakuteikai, a healthcare corporation, one of our advantages is that the players get good physical care. From the perspective of physical strength, our team has an edge in fitness, speed and power. The players move the ball around across the length and breadth of the ground.

 Ikumi Suzuki, CaptainAs the captain, what do you think of the atmosphere of the team?

All of us play rugby while keeping a full-time job, so we are serious about the sport. We all joined the team because we love rugby. We are a very friendly team, training together and teaching one another. We often go to see the games of other teams on a non-work day and talk about what we think about those games. We tackle each other hard in one-on-one training sessions. We have a lot of teammates you can compete with. So I think our team has a very good atmosphere – a good environment – for playing rugby.

Tell us about the appeal of your team. What do you want people to see in your team?

We have many strongly built players on the team, so I want people to come and see us and get impressed with how hard we play rugby. I also hope that there will be more opportunities for people to watch women’s rugby and find out how tough female players can play. When we tackle an opponent or carry the ball, we always play full force. That’s a part of the game that I want people to see.

For the latest information on the team, visit YOKOHAMA TKM’s official website : http://www.tkm7.jp/

特集 次ページへ

Women's Rugby in Yokohama

The environment surrounding women’s rugby has substantially changed in the past several years. One big reason behind this is that rugby sevens has been chosen as an official event at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. With Tokyo hosting a Summer Olympic Games six years later in 2020, momentum is picking up rapidly. In line with this trend, an increasing number of women’s rugby teams, hosted by enterprises, universities and the like, are springing up throughout the nation.
Did you know that women’s rugby is very popular in Yokohama City?
It all started 17 years ago when firefighters in Tsurumi Ward began to play tag rugby with children in a local park. The number of kids who came to play grew over the years to an excess of 50. The elementary school pupils playing with the firefighters won the all-Japan elementary school tag rugby championship three years in a row since its inaugural year in 2005. Among these pupils who started playing tag rugby in this park are Ayaka Suzuki, Marie Yamaguchi and Yoko Suzuki, who all later became members of the national team. Currently, there are four rugby schools in Yokohama City, and many female players are enrolled in each school.
In a move to give further momentum to women’s rugby in Yokohama, YOKOHAMA TKM, the largest company-backed team in the city, and KA-RA-DA Factory A.P. Pirates, a new team launched this year, are gearing up to make a leap forward. Let’s find out more about these female rugby players who are looking to play in the national team or make the Olympic squad.

Text of the introductory part supervised by: Yokohama Rugby Football Union
Information and photos provided by: KA-RA-DA Factory A.P. Pirates and YOKOHAMA TKM
Researched and written and photos provided by: Hideaki Seki (Yokohama Sports Association)

Totsuka-based YOKOHAMA TKM Aims to Play on the World Stage

YOKOHAMA TKM, Japan’s first women’s rugby team, was established on August 8, 2011, by the Yokohama Hakuteikai, a healthcare corporation that runs medical institutions including Totsuka Kyoritsu No. 1 Hospital. The logo of the team features cherry blossoms, the flower of Totsuka Ward where the team is based. It also symbolizes the aspirations of the team to become members of the national team. The straight line concatenating the letters T, K and M signifies teamwork (kizuna). Full of dreams and hopes, with the logo featuring cherry blossoms embroidered on their uniforms, the members of this Totsuka-based rugby team are aiming to play on the world stage.

 YOKOHAMA TKM

Members

Captain
Ikumi Suzuki (BK) Nobuko Noge (FW) Mana Yamato (BK) Anna Oshima (BK) Azusa Yama (FW) Maiko Fujimoto (FW) Aoi Mimura (BK) Reiko Tanaka (BK) Rei Yamada (BK) Rinako Yokoyama (BK) Saori Yamamoto (FW) Risa Arai (FW) Arisa Sakamoto (FW) Mayumi Takahashi (referee) Ai Hyugaji (FW)   Tomomi Kozasa (BK) Head Coach Nobuaki Hanaoka

(FW: Forwards BK: Backs)

 YOKOHAMA TKM  YOKOHAMA TKM
 YOKOHAMA TKM

INTERVIEW

 Nobuaki Hanaoka, Head CoachWhat is the appeal of a women’s rugby team and being the head coach of TKM?

Men’s 15-a-side rugby has a long history of more than 100 years, and there is a wide power gap between the Japanese team and the world’s strong national teams. In women’s rugby, by contrast, there is no single country that is far more advanced than the rest. So, I feel that, if Japanese female players keep improving their physical strength and skill, they may be able to achieve more than male players have done in the past. To put it another way, they have the potential to get close to the world’s top players. So our challenge is how much we can actually do to accomplish this goal.

What kind of team is TKM?

I see TKM as a team that will certainly grow to achieve better results in the future. I hope that the players will mature by acquiring basic skills, improving physical strength and learning many other things.
Since our team is backed by the Yokohama Hakuteikai, a healthcare corporation, one of our advantages is that the players get good physical care. From the perspective of physical strength, our team has an edge in fitness, speed and power. The players move the ball around across the length and breadth of the ground.

 Ikumi Suzuki, CaptainAs the captain, what do you think of the atmosphere of the team?

All of us play rugby while keeping a full-time job, so we are serious about the sport. We all joined the team because we love rugby. We are a very friendly team, training together and teaching one another. We often go to see the games of other teams on a non-work day and talk about what we think about those games. We tackle each other hard in one-on-one training sessions. We have a lot of teammates you can compete with. So I think our team has a very good atmosphere – a good environment – for playing rugby.

Tell us about the appeal of your team. What do you want people to see in your team?

We have many strongly built players on the team, so I want people to come and see us and get impressed with how hard we play rugby. I also hope that there will be more opportunities for people to watch women’s rugby and find out how tough female players can play. When we tackle an opponent or carry the ball, we always play full force. That’s a part of the game that I want people to see.

For the latest information on the team, visit YOKOHAMA TKM’s official website : http://www.tkm7.jp/

特集 次ページへ

                           
 
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