The BST 19:20 Sports Project

The BST 19:20 Sports Project aims to deliver unique sporting experiences and resources for students in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup 2019 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. By fostering BST’s close relationship to the community here in Tokyo and to our stakeholders, the project aims to deliver a three tiered approach to enhance the impact of these major international sporting events on our students. This includes tangible educational legacy programmes that promote the values of sport, opportunities to participate in a wide variety of Olympic and Paralympic sports and to increase access to elite coaching experiences and visiting international athletes.


On Friday 19th October, four of our Year 10 students were given the rare opportunity to meet the GB Rowing Team and GB Archery Team at the British Embassy in Tokyo. The teams were on recon trips to Tokyo in preparation for the 2020 Games. Students were able to talk with the athletes in a relaxed setting, finding out about their nutrition and training schedules, while also participating in mini races on ergometers with other students from Odaiba High School. Alex Elliott, Renee Steiner, Rodan Komiya and Ryan Fenwick were fantastic ambassadors for BST, who asked thought provoking questions to the athletes and gave friendly help to the students from Odaiba when needed. Here is what they had to say about the event:

Alex Elliott:

"I learned so much from the athletes about what it takes to be the best at their sport, their routines, health, teamwork and much more. It was so interesting to see not only male athletes there but many female athletes as well. I didn’t know much about rowing before meeting the team, so it was amazing to learn about the sport and what they do on a daily basis to be selected for Team GB. This opportunity really helped me understand the different ways people get into what they love to do. Some of the athletes didn’t even think about making rowing their career. It made me understand the importance of not giving up on what I want to do in life."

Renee Steiner:

"I really enjoyed the whole event. It wasn’t too formal which meant that we could go up to any of the athletes and ask them questions, we didn’t feel separated from them which was really nice. The idea of having the rowing simulation  on the ergometers was also really nice and interactive, and we were able to compete with everyone, including the athletes. It was interesting to learn more about rowing and archery as a sport, but also a little bi about their daily lives as athletes too. If I ever had the chance, I would definitely go again!

Rodan Komiya:

"I'm so thankful for the amazing experience I had today and I learned that you need to train consistently and be dedicated to become an Olympic athlete. As a keen tennis player, I'd like to meet the Team GB Tennis Team and perhaps invite them to school so that they can give us feedback on our technique. I'd also like to invite wheelchair tennis players to BST to find out more about the sport as we are preparing for the Paralympics in 2020"

Ryan Fenwick:

"I think that this trip was very rewarding and unique in its own distinct way as I've never experienced something like this before. It was interesting and exciting to hear how Olympic athletes live their lives, as well as seeing their personalities as people. I would love to go again!"

Coaches from the University of Tsukuba visited BST for the final session on the long jump. Students were put through their paces, focusing on the run up to gain optimum momentum before the jump. Students were given the valuable opportunity to see these skills demonstrated up close and personal by our very talented coaches!

Students were given the rare opportunity to learn and practice the hammer throw, with visiting coaches from the University of Tsukuba. The coaches focused on teaching students the angle of release, footwork on the turn and body positioning during the swing. This was a first for most, if not all the students who participated, including the PE staff team who also had never thrown the hammer before!

Alex Carnegie-Brown is currently Assistant Coach for England Lacrosse U23 Women's Team, but it was not so long ago that she was a Primary student here at BST! Alex's visit coincided with the England Lacrosse U23 Women's Team visit to Tokyo where they were competing against Japan in a test match at Edogawa Stadium. After touching down at Narita, Alex made her way directly to us (suitcases in hand!) to conduct a Lacrosse training session with Year 5 and participated in a Pupil Voice session, with students asking her questions about Lacrosse as a sport and what it takes to become a world class player.

Students were given a taste of what top-level athletics looks like by visiting coaches from the University of Tsukuba under the IAAF coaching principals. Sessions saw the students using sprint gauges to calculate their 50-meter sprint curve, learning correct technique to improve their sprint speed across all sports.

Koji Tokumasu is responsible for paving the way for Japan to host the Rugby World Cup, having first raised the prospect back in 2003. Koji's journey in rugby has taken him across the globe, spending 2 years in Cardiff learning the details of Welsh rugby coaching methods and financing his stay by working as a cleaner to make ends meet. He went on to coached a high school rugby team in Ibaraki prefecture to become all-Japan champions by using Welsh rugby coaching techniques. Koji then joined the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) before becoming the Head of Asia Rugby and finally a Senior Organising Committee Member of the RWC 2019. He did all this while also founding and coaching the Shibuya International Rugby Club which fosters cross cultural communication and friendship between Japanese and non-Japanese school children through Rugby. Some of our rugby enthusiasts had a sit-down with Koji to discuss all things rugby and Japan.

The entire England Blind Football team, including managers and support staff, jumped on a BST bus to travel across Tokyo to meet some of our students for another of our 19:20 student interviews. Their trip coincided with the IBSA World Grand Prix 2018 in which the team placed 2nd, losing to Argentina on a tense penalty shoot-out. The team spirit and camaraderie of the squad was a joy to witness for both staff and students, and you can see this reflected in their final article write-up.

Some of our keen BST basketball players welcomed to the school Paul Davies (Performance Director) and Tara Smith (Operations Manager) from British Wheelchair Basketball. They were given the opportunity to interview both Paul and Tara on their partnership with Urayasu City, which will host the GB Wheelchair Basketball Team's training and preparation camps in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Their trip also coincided with the GB Women's team participation in the annual Osaka Cup 2018. Please click here to read our student's published article.

On Friday, January 12th 2018, gold medalist Paralympian Caz Walton OBE was back in Japan  as a Project Officer of the British Paralympic Association (BPA). As part of the trip, she and BPA gave a talk at the British Embassy in Tokyo on their preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. A group of our keen BST students were given the chance to attend the event with Caz and asked some thought provoking questions on what it takes to be a world-class Paralympic athlete across multiple disciplines, as well as the changes she has witnessed to the Games from 1964 to the present day. As one of the world's most experienced Paralympians, Walton won Britain’s first gold medal in Paralympic track events, as well as a gold medal for swimming, at the 1964 Tokyo Games. On inspection of Caz's 1964 medals, our students were amazed to see that they were still engraved with 'Stoke Mandeville International Games' at that time.