e-magazine "id" Special Issue, Special Feature: Sumitomo Electric’s Track and Field Team~Message from the Manager~

Have Fun to Be Stronger

My former coach would often say “You have to be fond of running.
If you hate running and feel negative about it, you can’t be stronger.”
He taught me to become fond of training and enjoy running. I hope that those striving to compete in athletics will always stay positive and enjoy running with a smile, even when they're not setting records.

Foster World-Class Athletes

At Waseda University, I achieved several victories at ekiden races and then accumulated experience as a manager. The development of my career in the field of athletics is owed especially to such wonderful days at the university. Afterwards, I met the then President Matsumoto of Sumitomo Electric and we hit it off, leading me to serve as the manager of Sumitomo Electric’s Track and Field Team to foster world-class athletes.

When I joined the Company in 2015, the club was in a difficult situation because there had been a lot of changes in its membership. Since there is a stronger call for cost efficiency at companies than at universities, I felt pressure to generate the desired results quickly. While serving as the university’s manager, however, I led a team floundering near the bottom of the league, but finally earned victory, giving me a certain toughness and patience to overcome difficulties. I feel that this experience has enabled me to always work hard at Sumitomo Electric.

Get Rid of Instruction Based on Top-Down Communication

Hoping that the club’s members will become as independent as possible, I always try to give instructions based on dialogue on an equal footing. Since the members are no longer students, they communicate their own views clearly. Some of them are setting better records than what I accomplished when I was a runner. In this regard, I always focus not on top-down communication, but on a one-on-one approach on an equal footing or support behind the scenes.

The members of Sumitomo Electric’s Track and Field Team are headstrong and distinctive both in a good way and a bad way. It is often the case that those who can be No. 1 are self-assertive. In addition, they do what they say they will do. No matter how hard their training is, they never shy away from it. I feel that if the members become able to always control themselves without receiving detailed instructions, many more of them will represent Japan.

Encouraged by the Support from Employees

I’d like to make the club “unconstrained.” I also would like to see the club supported by everyone. We can continue athletics thanks to the Company’s understanding and support as well as our staff’s cooperation behind the scenes. It is important above all for the club’s members to interact with employees and receive support. I would like to develop as many athletes as possible who can represent Japan and earn medals at international competitions by doing what they say they will do without forgetting their appreciation.

Commemorative photo of Coach Watanabe (center) and players
Commemorative photo of Coach Watanabe (center) and players

Aiming Higher, Our Challenge Will Never End

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Athletics Class and Sumitomo Electric Athletics Festa

Community-Based Social Contribution Activities


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