Physical Strength and Athletic Ability Test: Shiga's middle school children exceed national average

This year's Physical Strength and Athletic Ability Test, an annual nation-wide test in which primary school children in the fifth grade and middle school children in the second year take part, demonstrates favorable results for Shiga Prefecture, due to the middle school boys and girls exceeding the national average scores.

Although Shiga's primary school children are still below the national average, progress can be found especially among the girls whose average scores this year are the highest in the recent five years, indicating that the measures taken by the Prefectural Board of Education and schools are on the right track.

The average scores of Shiga's primary school children turned out to be much lower than the national average in 2009, and the Board of Education started examining possible measures after that, leading to the programs initiated in 2011 such as a campaign  encouraging the students to exercise 30 minutes a day. Thanks to this, the number of students who like sports is increasing. "We see a positive effect in our programs," says an official in charge.

(Chunichi Shimbun, December 2, 2014)



London Olympics: Shiga-born medalists are to receive Prefectural Honor Awards

With some of Shiga-born athletes obataining excellent results in London Olympics, the Prefectural Board of Education is planning to give them Prefectural Honor Awards, sources say. Winning a prize at an international competition is the requirements to receive the awards.

There are currently two medalists eligible for receiving the honor: One is Reika Kakiiwa who won a silver medal in women's doubles badminton, and the other is Yuki Ota who took a silver medal in men's team foil fencing. Ota already received the same Awards for having won a silver medal in men's individual foil fencing at Beijing Olympics.   

Kakiiwa, who is from Otsu, is to receive Otsu City Special Athletic Awards from Otsu City Office as well. Kakiiwa is scheduled to pay a courtesy call to Prefectural Office as well as Otsu City Office on August 17.

(Chunichi Shimbun, August 7, 2012)



High school football: Yasu won the championship for 6 years in a row

The final match of the prefectural high school soccer tournament was held at Ojiyama stadium, Otsu, on November 27. Yasu High School won the championship for 6 years in a row, opening the door for the team to take part in the 89th All Japan High School Soccer Tournament.

The final match, just like 2 years ago, was fought between Yasu and Ayaha High School. Yasu, highly recognized for its ball passing techniques, overwhelmed the challengers. "We were not as good as Ayaha in terms of physical abilities, but we successfully controlled the game, using speed and techniques," says Keiji Yamamoto, coach of the team.

Yasu High will be having a game against Matsusho Gakuen High at the national tournament on December 31.

(Chunichi Shimbun, November 28, 2010)

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Bassball: Local player was picked third in the draft

NPB's drafting session was held on October 28th, entitling Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles to start negotiating with Hayato Kawaguchi, a shortstop belonging to a local club in Takashima.

Kawaguchi, who throws right and bats left, was born on August 7th, 1985. His height is 170cm, and the weight is 70kg. According to the club, his physical ability is quite high even though he is smaller than other professional baseball players.

"I have been making an effort to be a professional player, but my plan has been frustrated several times. I would have given up my dream if they hadn't chosen me. I will do my best to be picked up by the team as soon as possible, " says Kawaguchi.

The draft mentioned earlier is called the Ikusei draft where the teams pick up talented trainees who might play for the first team later.

(Chunichi Shimbun, October 29, 2010)

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Basketball: Lakestars will show up in the play-offs

The Shiga Lakestars, a professional basketball team belonging to bj-league, won a great victory on May 1 against Oita Heat Devils with 90-73, ensuring that the Shiga-based team proceeds to the play-offs starting from May 15. This has led to adding a new page to the team's history - competing in the play-offs has finally been achieved. 

The Lakestars failed to go to the play-offs at the last minute last year. Players such as Masashi Joho who joined the team just before the current season began, PF Gary Hamilton, and GF Mikey Marshall have contributed to the enhancement of the team's offense and defence abilities. 

"Our efforts for two years have been rewarded, " says Head Coach Robert Pierce.

(Mainichi Shimbun, May 3, 2010) 

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Lakestars still struggle to win

Shiga Lakestars, Shiga-based professional basketball team joining the bj-league this year, have lost 4 consecutive games since the beginning of the 2008-2009 season. The team is currently in last place in Western Conference.

Lakestars will have 2 consecutive games against Rizing Fukuoka from November 1. Because Fukuoka hasn't been doing well, Shiga is believed to experience first victory.

(Kyoto Shimbun, November 1, 2008)

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Deaf Hammer Throw: An athlete from Ryuo won the world championships

Masatoshi Morimoto whose hometown is Ryuo won the First World Athletics Championships with deaf hammer throw. There was a reception held at Ryuo Town Office on October 3 to celebrate his gold medal.

Mayor Hideo Takeyama praised the 23-year-old athlete of Tsukuba University, saying "I appreciate your splendid achievement engraved in the town's history. We are encouraged by what you have done." Morimoto replied talking in sign language, "the gold medal made me realize I became a world champion. "

The championships were held in Izmir, Turkey, in the middle of September. Fourteen athletes went on to the finals. Morimoto marked 58.80m in the fifth attempt, which made him get the gold medal.

(Chunichi Shimbun, October 4, 2008)

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Beijing Olympic Games: Shiga's gymnast excited his hometown

On August 12 when final tournament of men's gymnastics was held in Beijing, 220 locals gathered at Ritto Hall of Arts and Culture to cheer Takuya Nakase, a member of Japan's gymnastics team, who is from Otsu.

The 220 citizens, including Nakase's mentors and friends, were excited about the national team winning a silver medal.

Nakase, who belonged to Ritto High School, won two consecutive national high school championships from 1999 to 2000. Hisayuki Fuse, a former coach of Nakase said, "he has really become  stronger. I hope younger generations follow him."

(Mainichi Shimbun, August 13, 2008)

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BJ League: Shiga's new team unveiled

BJ League (Basketball Japan League) on April 17 unveiled a new Shiga-based team joining the league from the 2008-2009 season. The new team's name turned out to be the Shiga Lakestars.

In addition, the league also announced that the new team will be led by an American head coach Robert Pierce, who also led Hitachi in the JBL (Japan Basketball League) from 1997 to 2001.

From the upcoming season, the league will have 12 teams including new 2 teams - Shiga and Hamamatsu.

(Mainichi Shimbun April 17, 2008)

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