Chicago Shimpo
Let’s Make Good Memories under the Blue Sky
The Sports Day in Futabakai Saturday School

• Under the sparkling blue sky, the 43rd Sports Day of the Futabakai Japanese Saturday School was held on September 15 on the grounds of the Niles North High School in Skokie. All the students and their families enjoyed races, games, and cheers.

• In his opening remarks, Principal Katsu Shimabukuro said to the students, “What your parents and I expect you is not your perfect performances or creating a running record. What moves us is your challenging spirit and never-give-up attitude until the last moment of the race. And don’t forget rooting for your team.”
• Shimabukuro thanked the parents and volunteers for preparing the Sports Day.

• Consul General Naoki Ito said, “You’ll show us what you practiced so hard for today, and your efforts will turn the best performance. Let’s bring this blue sky to all over America by your performance,” and encouraged the students, “Trust your teammates, cheer your team up and show your teamwork which is unique in the Futabakai School.

• Futabakai Chairman Hideyuki Takatsuki also encouraged them saying, “You’ll have good memories when you do your best. Just do it, so that you’ll remember precious memories of the Sports Day when you become adults.” He also asked their parents, “Please don’t tell them, ‘Have you finished your homework?’ today. Instead, please tell them, “You’ve done a good job today.”

• The Saturday School is held once a week, so the students had only few hours to prepare for the Sports Day. However, races, games, and cheering competitions went smoothly due to the students’ teamwork. Some students went around the field with a sign notifying other students of the time and place they should gather to attend a race or a game. Some other students worked on the grounds to supply materials needed for games.
• The climax of the Sports Day was relay races which selected speedsters to compete against each other as a group of red and white.

• When all races were over White Team gained 588 points, while Red Team had 587 points. Only one point made White Team the winner and left Red Team disappointed. However, Red Team delighted when Principal announced that judges and teachers voted for Red Team for excellence of cheering competition.

• Shimabukuro appreciated the students’ hard work and said, “All of you were shining in the races and games. I think that you learned self-confidence from what you can do. Let’s study hard from next week on, both in your local schools and Saturday School.

• He also answered Shimpo’s interview and said, “The 43rd Sports Day was very successful. I really appreciate everybody’s cooperation, especially, students’ efforts to make today’s event so special.”

Principal Katsu Shimabukuro