From youth football festivals to the AFC Champions League quarter-finals, football (the language without borders) is championing local change in Japan. Here’s how:

Yamanashi Football Association hosts the Dream Football Festival

In May 2015, Yamanashi Football Association (YFA) hosted a one-day Dream Football Festival bringing together children, professional players from the J-League team, parents, soccer affiliates and the women’s soccer team at Yamanashi University for football and nutrition. More than 120 boys and girls and their parents experienced a fun-filled day with professional skills coaching, matches, and activities that linked sport with health and nutrition. One Goal leaflets on the importance of good health to be a champion were given to all participants raising awareness of the child malnutrition in Asia.

AFC Champions League quarter-finals teams stand together for One Goal

During ACL q-finals matches, Japanese teams Kashiwa Reysol and Gamba Osaka stood together with their match opponents  Guangzhou Evergrande (China) and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (Korea Republic) before kick-off to express their unity for One Goal: the movement to give every child in Asia good nutrition and the chance to become a champion. The Japanese teams are setting an example for their fans and spectators of all ages that while football is competitive, the playing field for nutrition should be equal.

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One Goal’s half-time video also displayed on screen during the q-finals matches, leaflets with the message of health and nutrition to become a champion were distributed to fans in stadium, and those at the matches had the opportunity to donate toward One Goal’s sport for development efforts in Nepal following the 25 April 2015 deadly earthquake. These messages reached over 40,000 people in Japan.

The 2016 Consadole Espolada Cup engages local players in the message of nutrition

In its 16th edition, the 2016 Consadole Espolada Cup invited One Goal to be featured with support from the Hokkaido football association. The event engaged more than 4,100 participants from 384 different teams of 69 municipalities in Hokkaido. U-6, U-8, U-10, U-12, U-15, and U-18 categories were featured at the event included a category for seniors and players with disabilities, and a "Ladies" category of mothers of the participating boys teams.

  • One Goal was proud to be invited and featured to an event of such rich local history. Leaflets and informational cards to all players, their families and other football families discussed the present situations of food insecurity and malnutrition for the Asian children.

  • Consadole's Dolekun and Espolada's Rispokun visited the One Goal booth promoting the message of nutrition and helping One Goal to fundraise.

  • 9,109 yen were raised by the event participants to support One Goal’s sport for development initiative in Jordan providing football pitches and a youth league for refugee children of Syria.

  • Professional footballer Yuto Horigome (Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo midfielder) also shared this message: "Hokkaido is known for its abundant agriculture. To become a strong athlete, training, resting, and eating are 3 key  factors. Don’t just eat your favorites, eat everything on your plate. Vegetables include very important nutrition so eat them even if you don’t like them. Remember that sooner you eat after training the better. Get the nutrition you need and become a strong player!"

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The Japan Football Association and World Vision Japan to publish a book on nutrition

Among other initiatives in 2016, the Japan Football Association and World Vision Japan will be publishing a book on the connection between nutrition and sport featuring One Goal efforts in Japan to tackle child malnutrition.


May is the month of action for Sport for Development by One Goal and partners. Join us all month long by following our weekly themes, engaging in important conversation online, participating in sport and advocating for sports access, organization of grassroots sporting activities, and child health for all

Follow One Goal on Facebook.com/OneGoal and @OneGoalMovement on Twitter from 1-31 May for stories, photo, video and opportunities to make a difference for the next generation through Sport.

Read more posts from the month of action for Sport for Development from One Goal: