園田監督辞任 選手を追い詰めた責任は重い

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 2, 2013)
Women’s judo coach Sonoda should feel heavy responsibility
園田監督辞任 選手を追い詰めた責任は重い(2月1日付・読売社説)

The head coach for the national women’s judo team has expressed his intention to resign after a number of team members accused him in a letter of acting violently toward them.

The coach, who also hounded the female judoka psychologically, is not qualified to continue to instruct them.

The coach is Ryuji Sonoda, a member of the Metropolitan Police Department. He apologized during a press conference Thursday, saying, “I regret that my behavior and words caused trouble for the athletes.” Sonoda bears a heavy responsibility for causing the public to lose confidence in the judo world.

The incident came to light when 15 female judoka, including some who participated in the London Olympics, submitted a letter of complaint to the Japanese Olympic Committee in December. In the letter they said they were subjected to violence and harassment.


Judo federation sloppy

The players said Sonoda and another coach struck them with their hands and a kendo shinai, a bamboo sword, on different occasions, including a special training camp for the Olympics. At least one athlete was threatened with expulsion from the Japanese team when she complained about the violence.

After receiving the letter from the JOC, the All Japan Judo Federation conducted an inquiry on Sonoda and decided the contents of the letter were almost entirely true.

The federation learned in September that Sonoda had been violent toward one of the team members involved in a special training program. However, as Sonoda admitted the accusation and apologized to the woman, the federation reportedly considered the problem to be settled.

The federation initially planned to keep Sonoda as head coach until the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, but it was only natural that a mutually trusting relationship could not be built between a coach and players who made such complaints.

We also see a serious problem with the judo federation’s lack of crisis management ability, as it could not grasp the situation until the 15 judoka submitted the letter to the JOC. The 15 gave the letter to the JOC instead of the federation apparently because they distrusted the AJJF.

As judo is considered Japan’s particular forte, people tend to think it is natural for Japan’s judoka to win in the Olympic Games. Therefore coaches must feel heavy pressure, much more than in other sports. There must be occasions when they have to sternly instruct judoka whose performance in their matches has been unsatisfactory.


Chain of violence?

However, behavior and statements that judoka interpret as violence or harassment should never be allowed.

Since the corporal punishment case at Osaka municipal Sakuranomiya High School came to light, people are turning much sterner eyes on violence in situations where athletes are trained.

Players who were punched by coaches may interpret these actions as an expression of their enthusiasm, and use violence themselves when they are eventually in a position to instruct athletes. We suspect there may be such a chain of violence.

Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Hakubun Shimomura has instructed the JOC to investigate the situation in sports other than judo as well. Japan’s entire sports world needs a thorough checkup.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 1, 2013)
(2013年2月1日01時17分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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