President of the International Paralympic Committee visited our university

Go Beyond members talk
about their passion for activities

On August 25, Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and Mike Peters, CEO visited our university for an exchange with Go Beyond, the Sophia Olympic and Paralympic Student Project.

Following welcoming remarks by Takashi Irohara, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Takashi Okada, Vice President for Academic Research, the four Go Beyond members were invited to speak.

First, the first co-chair, Honoka Jinno (Graduate 2021, English Studies, Faculty of Foreign Studies), passionately shared how she launched the student project in June 2018 after a visit to the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games and explained how the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Games united everyone beyond nationality, gender, language, physical characteristics, and various other differences was such an inspiration, bringing a harmonious coexisting society to be witnessed. She also mentioned about President Parsons’ words, how they encouraged her to launch the project. She also introduced three main themes of Go Beyond: ” Go Beyond Limits”, “Go Beyond Borders”, and “Go Beyond 2020 Tokyo and into the Future”, all of which much valued since the start of her activities and mentioned her ongoing venues beyond the Tokyo Games.

President and CEO listen
to student presentations

Then current co-vice presidents, Mashiro Saito (4th year, Faculty of Global Studies) and Koki Nobuoka (4th year, Sociology, Faculty of Human Sciences), and public relations Haruka Kirihara (3rd year, Sociology, Faculty of Human Sciences) gave a presentation on their activities.

In addition, they also introduced that they are now promoting exchanges with students from their partner school in Paris, the host city of the 2024 Summer Olympics. The presentation concluded with an enthusiasm that “we would like to share the power of sports with as many as possible through the 2025 World Championships in Athletics to be held in Tokyo by exploring new perspectives on sports and diversity. Through para-sports, we hope to realize a harmonious society”.

Interaction with Students

Following their presentation, two more members joined the group: Momo Kanari (3rd year, Education, Faculty of Human Sciences) and Sora Omori (2nd year, Faculty of Liberal Arts) . The six Go Beyond members, President Parsons, CEO Peters, and the two Sophia Vice Presidents had time to exchange opinions.

In response to the students’ presentations, President Parsons noted, “I commend all of you for acting for the benefit of others. I am also impressed by the fact that you did not initiate these actions prompted by outside organizations but rather on your own initiative. I am also impressed that Sophia University valued and supported these activities of the students.
CEO Peters was intrigued by the diverse range of undergraduate majors represented in this group of students. Referring to himself, “I taught at the university and practiced law, but now I am truly fortunate to be doing what I am passionate about.” He also questioned about “difference” and reiterated the principle of IPC that “difference” is power.
At the closing President and CEO encouraged the students to “keep your passion alive”.

Commemorative photo with President

Following the meeting, a photo session was held with all members participated. President Parsons autographed Go Beyond T-shirts and his messages as requested by the students, then left the venue with an exchange of smiles and greetings.

Sophia University

For Others, With Others