Case Study: Sports Education in Vietnam
Although living standards in Vietnam have improved with rapid economic growth, WHO reports that child obesity rate is over 40% in Vietnam. Hence Ministry of Education and Training recognizes that "promoting the understanding of child obesity and the importance of exercise and sports" is a social issue and it is essential to improve the quality of physical education. We have developed Mizuno Hexathlon, an athletic exercise program for children, which has been adopted by some elementary schools in Japan. Based on the SDGs' philosophy that "No one will be left behind'', we introduced "Mizuno Hexathlon'' to public education in Vietnam and provided all 7.2 million elementary school students with "the joy and fun of exercising.'' We are promoting this project with the aim of achieving "Sports SDGs utilizing sports to solve social issues".
With the cooperation of Japanese government such as Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Embassy abroad, and Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam, we have adopted and incorporated Mizuno Hexathlon into the supplementary guidelines for the local teachers' guide. We will steadily promote the full-scale introduction and business of Mizuno Hexathlon in collaboration with local state-run textbook companies.
In the future, based on a memorandum of cooperation signed with the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam, we will provide the training with approximately 5,000 trainers (including teachers) for practicing Japanese-style physical education using the necessary tools for Mizuno Hexathlon). In order to build a competitive advantage with the minimum risk, we have started to create a mechanism to properly transmit Mizuno Hexathlon, and also have a trademark and intellectual property related to the threat and risk of counterfeit products to address the issue of legal protection measures. In the medium to long term, the company will strive to further expand its business including manufacturing and selling sports-related products, as well as "creating an environment where sports using simple equipment can be implemented." As a result, the country will not only increase the number of children and adults who enjoy sports, but will also lead to the development of athletes who will be active on the world stage in the future. We will continue to work on the creation of the "SDGs business" with a spirit which values significance over profit in the realization of a sustainable society on a global scale.
When I started this project six years ago, I had no concept of "Solving social issues or SDGs".
My determination was, "This is the only focus of my life.", which means "I put on the life of this project", which is the same as Yoshihuru Akiyama's quote "Men need to do everything for life."
Looking back, the process from the start of this project six years ago to the present was almost a series of challenges for barriers, both inside and outside the country. To begin with, the list of requirements which had to be addressed in order to move forward was as follows.
[For Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam]
-To submit the evidence on the effect of Mizuno Hexathlon
-To submit a recommendation letter issued by a Japanese government agency.
-To hold workshop seminars in five cities under the direct control of the Vietnamese government
[For Japanese government agencies]
-To be adopted as a national project scheme.
-Various reports and adjustments
-Draft review of production and logistics
-Reduction of FOB price
-To establish intellectual property
While addressing these issues one by one, the prerequisites for negotiations with the Vietnamese government are often revised, so a considerable amount of time has been spent on collecting more accurate information and finding key persons to promote this project in an advantageous manner. Now, however, the prospect of local adoption of Mizuno Hexathlon as well as its introduction and business have just begun to appear. We will continue our efforts to contribute to "EDU-Port Japan" in unconventional way.
Asia Global Sales Manager
【Relative Link・Mizuno's SDGs】
(2018 EDU-Port Supported Project: Mizuno Corporation)