AFC applauds Urawa Reds’ “Heart Full Club” activities
Urawa: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has commended and expressed full support for 2017 AFC Champions League winners Urawa Red Diamonds’ “Heart Full Club” activities, which has been part of its hometown community in Urawa, Saitama, Japan for 15 years.
The grassroots programme brings the local community as well as children from across the Continent together, focusing on inspiring children to have a healthy mind and body, as well as developing good communication skills and to pursue their goal in the spirit of fair play.
Their latest endeavor took place at the Urawa Club House last Saturday, with over 80 participants from Urawa city, including a group of children from Northern Japan and a boy from Thailand taking part, before heading to witness a J1 League match between Urawa Reds and Cerezo Osaka at the Saitama Stadium.
The children and parents were welcomed by Keizo Fuchita, Urawa Red Diamonds President and David Borja, the AFC representative as well as Suzuki Keita and Nagai Yuiti - two former Urawa Reds players and ACL champions in 2007 - who spoke on their experiences as professional players and emphasised on the importance of fair play.
Urawa Reds began their overseas programme in Phuket, Thailand when the 2005 tsunami disaster heavily affected the mountainous island, and the Reds have continued their efforts annually ever since through various “Heart Full Club” events.
In 2007, Urawa Reds expanded their “Heart Full Club” activities by organising football clinics and lectures in Indonesia, China PR and Korea Republic, as well as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Australia and Myanmar in the following years.
The international grassroots programme took place in the United Arab Emirates in April, before heading to Indonesia and Malaysia a month later, and Fuchita reiterated the club’s commitment to its activities abroad and expressed his hope of a joint social project with the AFC in the near future.
Urawa Reds also offer a “Heart Full - School Programme”, a once a week session for groups of 30 to 40 boys and girls organised specially for children aged six to 12 which runs for 20 weeks.
To top it off, “Heart Full Clinics” are also organised for primary and high schools that offer coaching support in the form of ‘Kids Soccer’ and ‘Soccer Caravan’ programmes, focusing on physical education.
Photos: Urawa Red Diamonds