High Jump, Hurdles and Relays

A few weeks ago, I went into Osaka to watch a young friend in her regional track and field meet.  The stadium was in a huge urban park.  Both were beautiful and in a well-used:  swimmers, runners, dog walkers, cyclists, walkers and families were out.  I enjoyed the track meet as well.  Each school had their own section in the stadium outer hallways and the results were displayed near two main entrances. In Victoria the University stadium is generally used for these sort of finals; I was surprised to see such a massive and professional-looking recreational facility being used for a Junior High event.  It was easy to spot my young friend as she was wearing orange runners and has a short, super cute hairstyle uncommon in Japan.  Actually, I wasn’t 100% certain it was her so when she jumped, a large group of teammates yelled her name so I confirmed with them.   They were very excited to see me, a foreigner and were impressed I came to cheer our mutual friend on!   I soon was directed to her mother so we watched together for the remainder of my time at the meet.  Clubs begin in Japan in Jr High and if involved can be a fundamental part of adolescence here.  Clubs generally practice before and after school daily, and each weekend they travel to tournaments together.  It’s busy but I know the comraderly is significant in a teens life.  
My friend was disappointed with her high jump performance but her team got first in the relay!  It was very exciting and I was glad I was there towatch  her.  I also saw a fair number of other events.   Running, long jump, and hurdles.  I missed the shot put which is what I did as a youngster though wasn’t interested in it at all.  I was particularly fascinated by the hurdles as I hadn’t seen it in person before.  And it seemed they have really updated the technology for it.  Hope you enjoy some photos. 


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