The Barbados Olympic Association Inc. (BOA) last week hosted the Ambassador of Japan, His Excellency Teruhiko Shinada, at BOA Headquarters in Wildey. Ambassador Shinada was on a courtesy call to the sporting officials ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The Ambassador met with BOA President Steve Stoute, Secretary General Erskine Simmons, and Manager of Olympic Operations Glyne Clarke, in a bid to strengthen relations between the BOA and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) in preparation for the next Olympic Games, which will be held from July 24 to August 9, 2020.
Discussions centered around how Japan can offer assistance to the Barbados delegation in relation to their participation in the upcoming Tokyo Games. BOA representatives deliberated on various logistical issues including local transport, accommodation, and security in Japan. They also put forth the idea of a pre-Games training camp to help acclimatise Bajan athletes in the weeks before the competition begins, as well as the possibility of a coaching and/or athlete exchange programme, especially in the area of martial arts.
President Stoute said that the BOA was delighted to welcome the Ambassador to Olympic Centre to collaborate on how best Japan can assist Barbados in Olympic preparations. “Given the significance of Tokyo in relation to the upcoming Olympic Games, we are very pleased that Japan has established an embassy here in Barbados. We look forward to working closely in partnership with the embassy, particularly during our Olympic planning processes, and for your assistance with some of the logistical aspects of our preparations,” he said.
He further added, “the Ambassador has been closely connected to the Japanese Olympic Movement, having being part of the delegation in Rio 2016. Therefore we are confident in his ability to assist Barbados to boost its chances of success in Tokyo.”
The Ambassador was also treated to a tour of the Olympic Museum, where he took photos of Bajan Olympic memorabilia and was able to ask questions about our local athletes and historic Barbadian Olympic moments. “I am very impressed with Barbados’ Olympic Centre facilities, especially the museum. These facilities are better than many other Olympic Committee’s facilities in this regard,” he said.
As a gift of his appreciation, the Ambassador presented the BOA President with a sneak peak of Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Games brochures, Tokyo Olympic pins, as well as a Japanese calendar. In return, he was presented with a colorful Barbados tie and Barbados Olympic pins by Stoute and other BOA representatives in attendance.
The Embassy of Japan in Barbados was officially opened on January 1, 2016. The BOA regularly welcomes dignitaries from all over the world and in recent times have hosted the Chinese Ambassador, Brazilian Ambassador, British High Commissioner, Canadian High Commissioner, and Australian High Commissioner.