千葉県Chiba Prefectural Government

~ 千葉県にオリンピック・パラリンピックがやってくる ~

Update: September 15, 2021

ここから本文です。

【Report】International Online Exchange with Coventry Ambassadors and City Cast Chiba

This report was written and translated by City Cast Chiba.

commemorative photo

Click here for the report in Japanese

City Cast Chiba, Olympic and Paralympic city-volunteers, ended up having activities for Tokyo 2020 mainly remote volunteering such as online. While the Olympics started in hardship, an online talk session with “Coventry Ambassadors” was held in order to look back on the former half of Tokyo Olympics and to enrich the rest of the activities and further volunteering journey. Coventry Ambassadors are volunteers for London 2012 and continue their activities even after the Olympics.
This project was all done by City Cast Chiba from planning to management and about 70 volunteers from Chiba and Coventry took part in on the day of the event.

We discussed what we learned through the experiences as “city-volunteers”, our common position. It made a good opportunity to recognize the value of volunteering and get inspired for the upcoming activities.

The following is the report from the project members, who played an important role in this event.
The report is to be read in Japanese and English. (Both of Japanese and English reports were written by City Cast Chiba.)

Event outline

Title

International Online Exchange with Coventry Ambassadors and City Cast Chiba

Date

Aug. 14(Sat), 18:00-19:20(JST)/10:00-11:00(BST)

Objectives

To provide opportunities for international exchange for the city-volunteers and to share the values and knowledge of volunteering during the Olympics and Paralympic games period.

Participant

57 City Cast and 13 Coventry Ambassadors

Guest Speaker

David Boughey / Managing Director of EnV(Coventry)C.I.C.

Programme

  1. Opening(MC: Fumie, Emiko)
  2. Short lecture on "Coventry Ambassador"
  3. Short presentation on Chiba (presented by Tomomi, Aoi, Sakie, Shinichi)
  4. Q&A session
  5. Breakout room session
    • Part1: (1)Self-introduction and icebreaking: what you know about UK(Coventry) or Japan(Chiba) ?,  (2)Stand-out athletes and moments throughout the Olympic games (particularly Team GB and Team Japan)
    • Part 2:What have you gained through the Olympic and Paralympic volunteer experience? - volunteering in a COVID-19 pandemic - 
  6. Sharing feedback with all
  7. Photo session

Short lecture for Coventry Ambassadors (Summary)

Lecturer: Mr. David Boughey / Managing Director, EnV Coventry, 2012 Host City Volunteer Manager

EnV Coventry Ambassador presentationI was in charge back in 2011 to recruit, train and deploy over 300 local volunteers to support Olympic Game in Coventry. Today I manage a community organization which were set up following the Games to grow and sustain the 2012 host city volunteer program in Coventry. During the London 2012 Games, Coventry was host city for Olympic football competition.

We received a visit from Chiba government officials to Coventry in 2017 and as a part of visit we were able to guide them around football stadium which was Olympic venue of Coventry in 2012.  Following the visit to Coventry, I was invited over to Chiba in 2018 to present a story at the recruitment guidance of City Cast Chiba, and in 2019 I was invited to return with two of our Coventry Ambassador volunteers to deliver some training to City Cast volunteer members.

Coventry is based in Central England. It is a ninth largest city in England and is approximately 95 miles from London. Coventry is known for which medieval history, Cathedral, and automotive industry.  It’s one of the fastest growing cities in the U.K. and has a large population of students which 2 award winning universities in the city.  There are significant number of migrants added to the population of city and Coventry is internationally known as a welcoming city of peace and reconciliation.

Coventry Ambassadors
Host city volunteer project aims were, to provide frontline visitors welcome to enjoy the Games in Coventry, and also, to ensure the visitors’ experience the highest standard by providing with the local knowledge, to keep the lasting positive impression on those visitors.
And importantly from the very beginning, there was aimed to provide a lasting volunteer legacy for the city, and we are proud that we are still sliding and continuing to volunteer stay nearly 10 years.

There were many voluntary hours contributed by Coventry Ambassadors during 2012 and total of 14,000 hours were provided over the Game days and more additional hours of supporting relating events.

It is ensured that the legacy was provided by the volunteers themselves who personally gained from its experiences of volunteering and all team to continue after the Games ended. And since then, there has been brought of hosting the international events in Coventry.

Coventry was also awarded as European City of Sports in 2019 and we were due to host Australia vs Scotland Rugby League World cup for this year October but recently this has been postponed due to Covid and we hope that it will return next year instead.

And like yourselves, unfortunately volunteer activities have been destructed due to Covid and pandemic and during period of the lock down we tried to keep in touch over cause like this using Zoom. And during that we also asked our volunteers to send the picture of word of how volunteering as a Coventry Ambassadors, and we put together which include words of being proud, feeling values, and also feelings of joys as well.

Coventry UK City of Culture 2021
Today Coventry has named as in U.K. City of Culture 2021 and we also host arranged sports as part of Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022.
Our organization has been awarded to manage the volunteer program of U.K. City of Culture 2021 for Coventry. Many of Coventry Ambassador volunteers are a part of that programs and we are also now look ahead to Commonwealth Games in 2022 which Coventry will host arrange about the activities in the same venue as Olympic football place in 2012.

Presentation on Chiba and City Cast Chiba

Presenters:Tomomi, Aoi, Sakie, Shinichi

presentation on City Cast ChibaWhile there are many attractive things in Chiba, today I would like to introduce you to Chiba's "food culture" throughout the four seasons of the year. First, an overview of Chiba. Chiba is located in the east of Tokyo, facing the Pacific Ocean, with a population of 6.3 million, and is the sixth largest prefecture in Japan. Chiba is also an agricultural land blessed with nature.

Event venues
There are two Olympic and Paralympic venues in Chiba, Makuhari -Messe and Tsurigasaki Beach. Four Olympic Games were held at Makuhari-Messe, and a surfing competition was held at Tsurigasaki Beach. Please enjoy the 3 Paralympic Games held at the Makuhari-Messe.

City Cast Chiba
Next, about official volunteers in Tokyo 2020. There are two main types of official volunteers at the Tokyo 2020 Games: games-volunteers called “Field Cast” who support the operations of game events at the venues, and volunteers in towns, city-volunteers called “City Cast” who serve visitors by providing information on tourism, transportation and Games-related guidance throughout the duration of the 2020 games.
"City Cast Chiba" was initially supposed to do such activities. However, we had to stay home due to the pandemic, and instead, we dedicate in remote volunteering such as holding virtual tours for foreign guests issuing newsletters, SNS and so on.

Specialties of Chiba
Thanks to fertile soil and rich sea, we could have farm produce and fresh seafood. We would like to introduce some of Chiba’s specialties for each season.
In spring, people look forward to the appearance of a bamboo shoot. Bamboo shoot digging and eating a fresh bamboo shoot is sure to be a memorable experience. Fresh bamboo can be eaten raw like sashimi, or as tempura, deep fried, or with steak. Japanese strawberries are famous for their sweetness and size. You can enjoy strawberry picking while comparing the taste of different kinds of strawberries.

Summer is the time to fish abalone, and you can try out different style of cooking that use fresh abalone. Summer is also the season to harvest fruits. Chiba is the No.1 producer of pears and the second largest producer of loquats.

In Japan, autumn is the season when most produce is made. Fishing boats with full of Ise lobsters come back to the port one after another. Chiba is a well-known producer of sweet potatoes and peanuts. You will never forget the sweetness of a baked sweet potato once you bite into it.
Winter is the most suitable season for hot sake. Though we enjoy not only hot but also cold, depending on the season. We have traditional sake brewery manufacturers in Chiba. We say Chiba’s sake is fragrant and clear taste. In these days, we heard that sparkling sake is popular among British tourists in Japan.

Finally, we introduce about “Matsuri-zushi.” It is a kind of sushi and has been inherited in Chiba as a traditional dish. Firstly, we cook sushi rice. Prepare some colorful ingredients such as baked egg, simmered carrots etc. Roll the with the bamboo rolling mat. Spread the rice on the dried seaweed sheet and roll by using the bamboo rolling mat. Then sliced, finally, picturesque cross-section is appeared. “Matsuri” means “festival” in Japanese and we traditionally make this type of sushi on festival days and we also make them to celebrate a birthday, wedding, graduation and so on. Now it’s a party time with Matsuri-zushi!

Breakout session

breackout session*CA(Coventry Ambassadors)
*CC(City Cast Chiba)

 

 

 

Comments shared in Part 1: Stand-out athletes and moments throughout the Olympic games

  • Young athletes in skateboarding.  Momiji Nishiya won the gold medal at the age of 13.  Sky Brown, also 13, is Japanese-British.
  • Adam Peaty, the gold medalist in breaststroke. His tattoo was impressive.
  • Japan’s achievement in Judo. Abe siblings, Hifumi and Uta, won the gold medals on the same day.
  • Japan finally won the gold medal in table tennis.
  • Thomas Daley, the gold medalist in synchronized diving showed the cardigan he knitted during the Olympics on his Instagram.
  • At the closing ceremony, UK athletes wore shirts with a message “Arigato Tokyo.”
  • GB’s women’s soccer teams dropped to one knee to call attention against racism, discrimination and social injustice. (Since George Froit case in 2020. They’ve been doing it at every game since then. By CA)
  • CC appreciates Team GB's capability. The UK has half the population compared with Japan, who won 65 medals whereas Japan won 58 medals.
  • Even under the COVID-19, CCs perform their activities with a forward-looking feeling.
  • One of the CA picked up Daiki Hashimoto who won gold medal at gymnastics. And he knows Daiki from Chiba prefecture. One of the CC graduated same high school and then CA said Congratulations.
  • CC asked about German bombing of Coventry during the WW2. CA shows us some pictures of old and new Coventry Cathedral. Almost Chiba city cast surprised that old one still there.

Discussion in Part 2:What have you gained through the Olympic and Paralympic volunteer experience? - volunteering in a COVID-19 pandemic - 

Group Rose(Facilitator:Hiro, Sub facilitator:Fumie)

From Coventry Ambassadors
  •  I was able to have family-like relationship with volunteer members and would like to continue my activities in cooperation with them.
  • In 2012, I participated in Olympic volunteer activities in London. After that, I moved to Coventry. I assume the city of Coventry is not that big and unity of volunteer members is strong. Also, there are many opportunities to participate in. This makes it easy to organize and collaborate with volunteers on a variety of activities.
  • Coventry is well known as city of cultural, a city of sports, etc. and in that sense, volunteer activities continue as a legacy of London 2012 Olympic Games.
  • There are many cultural facilities in the city, and newly Japanese garden is opened.
  • Under these circumstances, cooperation with overseas is promoted, international events are held, and opportunities of volunteer activities are increasing.
  • It is meaningful to continue volunteer activities as much as possible.
From City Cast Chiba
  • I am impressed that volumeters activities have started at the time of 2021 London Olympic in Coventry and still going on now.
  • I would like to continue the relationship with people whom I met during the preparation.
  • There were no activities due to Covid-19 but was able to learn lots in the Online trainings.  I would like to keep going for the voluntaries.
  • There were no real activities this time, but I don’t want to forget the volunteer spirit.

Group Lily(Facilitator:Reiko, Sub facilitator:Tal)

From Coventry Ambassadors
  • After I retired, I wanted to feel useful and started volunteering. If I can be of somebody’s help, I can be responsible, confident and proud.
  • We can continue activities for a long time because we have a firm organization and members’ bond. We are preparing for an upcoming big event.
From City Cast Chiba
  • The relationship between fellow volunteers is very important.  Enjoying ourselves is a big factor to continue the activity.
  • Through the preparation for the Olympics, I had precious experiences and learned a lot.  Especially I knew many things about my local area.
  • As a volunteer, I was interested in the Olympic events in a different way from before.  Now I exercise imitating Karate formation.
  •  We couldn’t have on-site volunteering for Tokyo Olympics, but we would like to try many activities from now on.

Group Pansy(Facilitator:Pham, Sub facilitator:Emiko, Shinichi)

From Coventry Ambassadors
  • As I moved from London, I know both volunteers’ activities. I feel Coventry City is more comfortable to act as a volunteer than London, that is too big. We can share the enthusiasm with members like a family. Sports event is suitable for our activities, so we are trying to bring in sports event.
  • With COVID-19, many elderly people had difficulties in going out for shopping. So, we younger people asked them what they need and went shopping for them. We also delivered food to those who were in short of food. The appreciations we’ve got from them make us move forward.
  • People around the world paid attention to Japan during Olympics. We are thankful to all Japanese people for hosting Olympics in this difficult situation.
From City Cast Chiba
  • Too bad that I did not have any chances to volunteer as a City Cast, but I gained a lot of knowledge through E-learning, for instance on LGBTQ, prevention of heatstroke, sign language, first aid, English and so on.
  • The elderly people and young people worked together in a team and exchanged their experience and knowhow to promote Chiba. This is the most precious thing to me.

Group Sakura(Facilitator:Nori, Sub facilitator:Aoi)

From Coventry Ambassador
  • (Questioned by CC: What is the motivation for keeping such a strong bond even after 9 years?) Enjoying with enthusiasm must be the most important thing. And try to correspond from the same perspective of other people such as children, people with disabilities.
From City Cast Chiba
  •  Able to grow ourself through volunteer activities in handling PC, presentation software and online meeting system. And also grown mentally, could be patient.
  • We could join the volunteer activities through Zoom at any time.

Group Ume(Facilitator:Yoshi, Sub facilitator:Sakie, Tomomi)

From Coventry Ambassador
  • Gained the experience of meeting, helping, and supporting people through their voluntary activities. Their voluntary activities are sometimes appreciated by the recipient of their voluntary actions. The motivation for volunteering is people’s smile and receiving the word of thanks.
  • It is essential to have a good volunteer management organization that bridges between the community’s volunteer needs and each volunteer needs. In case of Coventry, because of EnV, Coventry volunteers who experienced London 2012 still be able to participate many volunteer activities easily.
From City Cast Chiba
  • A lot of activities have cancelled due to Covid-19 and CC members were unable to do their Olympic supporting field activities at all. Some members have participated such as writing down messages for foreigners, online virtual tours that introduces the sightseeing spots, famous goods, and others. They are now doing what they can do and primarily online based activities.
  • Overall, Tokyo 2020 City Cast volunteer activities are very limited like virtual tour supporting, etc., but many of them are active and doing volunteer activities other than City Cast volunteer activities as well.

Facilitator’s comment

  • It was very impressive that I found the enthusiasm of volunteer activities and the feeling of consideration in cooperation with others from Coventry Ambassadors. I noticed that those idea come from their deep experiences.
  • Participants fully cooperated to the room facilitators as well as the efficient meeting room changes and time management by the meeting organizer. Also, the room facilitators sensibly organized and efficiently managed meeting and meeting time.
  • Both Coventry ambassadors and City Cast Chiba staff spoke positively within limited time and both enjoyed sharing experiences.
  • Unfortunately, we could not volunteer for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games because of Covid-19. Though thanks to International Online Exchange I could make out that British, as well as Japanese, were impressed with Olympic athletes’ performance. 
  • We could got in touch with not only Olympics but also Coventry Cathedral history during WW Ⅱ.  We were surprised and interested in Coventry.
  • We are very much satisfied that we took part in this exchange!

Feedback from the participants

Total satisfaction about the event (Maximum 5): 4.3

Following comments are some of the answers from the feedback form.

Reason for the evaluation

From Coventry Ambassadors
  • Splendid structure, realistic timings and management
  • It was just a fascinating and heart-warming exchange. I can't wait to do more of those and learn more about your country and culture.
  • Loved the fact we could share our experiences and broaden our network.
  • It was a pleasure to exchange thoughts and discussions between our volunteers. Thank you for this opportunity and we would like to continue this exchange in future. Thank you to all the City Cast, we were all very impressed with their use of English conversation.
From City Cast Chiba
  • I got some tips on how to motivated to continue volunteering.
  • The presentation of both sides was good.
  • It was fun to know a lot of things I didn't know. I felt that the operating staffs had the desire to make this meeting in success and the and the Coventry Ambassador were enthusiastic. If I have another chance, I would love to participate.
  • I was disappointed that I didn't have the opportunity to wear the uniform I received, but I was happy that I was able to work for the first time as a City Cast wearing a uniform.
  • I couldn't understand English well, but I'm glad I could communicate with a smile. From the smiles of everyone in Coventry, I knew what is the important thing for volunteer activities.
  • I'm member of project team and I did a presentation of Chiba prefecture. While I'm preparing for that I could share time with my daughters so that is I wanted to do this Tokyo2020. I was supposed to work at Narita International airport, but I couldn't but I'm very happy to join this project and meet Coventry Ambassadors.  I think after this pandemic I will visit Coventry with my daughters.
  • I felt satisfied because I felt like I'm not alone and what we have been doing wasn't pointless.
  • It was very meaningful to be able to talk to overseas volunteers for the first time.
  • It was my first time to have a group talk in English, but I was able to communicate and it was fun and meaningful. It was a motivation for future volunteer activities and brushing up English conversation.
  •  I'm glad that everyone's warm smiles and familiarity softened the atmosphere and I was able to listen with peace of mind.

Things to learn

From Coventry Ambassadors
  • Things we have in common and things that are different (especially Covid being a challenge for you)
  • Learn more about my colleagues in Chiba, share good practice together.
  • We learned a lot about Japan and Chiba that we did not previously know and it was very interesting.
From City Cast Chiba
  •  I realized that everything should start with participation.
  • Volunteering is fun.
  • There are some points that both sides have in common.
  • I was able to hear stories from people of all ages and felt that I wanted to improve myself.
  • I would like to continue volunteering as City Cast Chiba if that's possible after the Tokyo 2020 Games.
  • It is interesting that volunteers in each country have their own methods.
  • I want you to keep the name City Cast Chiba.
  • Coventry Ambassador speak Japanese. I think that they tried to know about us as well. I felt very comfortable. I learn that is a volunteer sprit.
  • Loving your city makes your city sustainable.
  • First of all, I learned that Coventry is a beautiful and a nice place with kind people, and secondly "enthusiasm (and a smile)" is the tip to maintain volunteering.
  • The word from one of the CA, "I wanted to feel useful after retirement." was impressive as the reason for starting volunteering.
  • I respect both Coventry Ambassadors who continue to volunteer and David’s leadership.
  • It's difficult for each person to work alone, but I thought it would be nice to have a volunteer support organization similar to Coventry.
  • To sustain volunteer work, involving young generation is important.
  • After all, I thought that the love of the hometown and the smile were the most important for volunteers.
  • The Coventry Ambassadors are very kind, inclusive, passionate and proud to volunteer. There are many things to learn and they became a good consideration for future activities.
  • Among the various opinions, I was happy to hear from the Coventry Ambassadors saying “Tokyo 2020 was good!”

Message for each volunteer group

Message From "City Cast Chiba" to "Coventry Ambassadors"

  • Thank you so much for supporting City Cast Chiba's activities by participating in our virtual tours and this online talk session. We hope we continue our friendly relationship for years to come.
  • For Coventry, I hope that you will have a good time in Commonwealth Games.
  • It was very encouraging to see how volunteer activities have been continued for about 10 years after the end of the London Olympics and Paralympics. We would like to maintain and develop our volunteer activities, like Coventry Ambassadors.
  • I learned a lot about the volunteer set up and the necessary volunteer sprit. We are in a difficult period of Covid-19, but the cloud will stop someday. Let take care our health and let enjoy whatever we can do. Again.
  • This International Online Exchange program was timely undertaking for Japanese volunteer group. Let’s keep in touch with us:)!!!
  • We will follow you and continue our activity after 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
  • Next time I’d like to chat with you while having the actual afternoon tea. Let’s continue to inspire each other and enjoy volunteer activities! Under the pandemic, please stay safe, healthy and happy.
  • The Coventry volunteers, who continue to love their hometown even after the London   Olympics have given us great courage and strength. Unfortunately, the activities at the Tokyo Olympics have disappeared due to corona disaster, but I hope that we can connect the practical training and online training that I have accumulated so far to the future.

Message from "Coventry Ambssadors" to "City Cast Chiba"

 

  • Very enthusiastic, charming and positive group of people. Loved it!
  • Thank you all for your honesty and hospitality. I wish you all the best for the Para Olympics. Looking forward to seeing them. You are welcome to Coventry anytime and i do look forward to meeting you in the future.
  • The spirit of the Chiba City Cast members and their enthusiasm to continue volunteering when there have been so many challenges and disappointments that they have faced due to COVID 19 restrictions is inspiring to us all.
  • You have a great group, stay together and tell the world about Chiba.


Through the discussion, both volunteer groups could achieve the goal of the session to share the value of volunteering. Through this review, we would like to continue to discuss the future of City Cast Chiba.