“Setting High Goals for Herself”: Naomi Osaka Breaks Down Barriers To Promote Sports in Japan

Published 03/10/2021, 2:46 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her semi final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


World No.2 Naomi Osaka has launched an initiative to support the participation of Japanese girls in sports. Being a Japanese herself, Osaka is fully aware of the barriers faced by girls wanting to pursue sports in the country.

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Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her semi final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

In partnership with Nike and Laureus Sports for Good Foundation, Osaka has launched a ‘Play Academy with Naomi Osaka’. The aim of her academy is to provide opportunities to girls in Japan and make them future role models.

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Naomi Osaka on a mission to empower girls

Recently, Osaka uploaded an Instagram story with a picture of herself standing with a bunch of Japanese girls. The girls belong to Japan YMCA Alliance, Nadeshiko Care, and Ryutsu Keizai University in Japan, which have become partners of the Play Academy.

As a result, the three community groups will receive grants from the Play Academy to provide girls with positive play experiences through sport, promote gender inclusivity and build leadership skills.

 

“Welcome Japan YMCA, Nadeshiko Care, and Ryutsu Keizai University to the Play Academy family! Together with @nike and @laureussport, we’re working to give girls in Japan more opportunities to fall in love with sport—girls like Marin from Japan YMCA,” wrote Osaka.

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The 2021 Australian Open champion mentioned about a girl Marin on her Instagram story, who has been pursuing Karate and breaking down the barriers to sport for other girls.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka reacts during her fourth round match against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Apart from being the most dominant player in women’s tennis, Osaka has again shown the humanitarian side of her personality and her commitment towards empowering the girl child.

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Meanwhile, Osaka will compete next at the 2021 Miami Open, which starts during the third week of March. Since her debut at the Miami Open in 2016, Osaka has failed to go past the third round of the tournament.

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Kshitij Tayal

393 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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