Game Changer


“Social Change through Paralympic Sports":
Online conference on this social inclusion project in the run up the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Thursday, August 19, 16:00 JST / 09:00 am CEST

  • The recording of this online conference is available on our YouTube Channel!

  • A booklet about the Game Changer project is available via this link.

The Olympic Committee of the Netherlands (NOC*NSF), with the support of the Dutch Embassy in Japan and in collaboration with the Japan Sport Council (JSC) and three Tokyo municipalities (Adachi-ku, Edogawa-ku and Nishi-Tokyo City), will present the Game Changer project via an online conference on Thursday, August 19. Game Changer supports the integration of people with an impairment in Japan and thereby contribute to the legacy of the Tokyo Games. Athletes and leaders from the Netherlands, have come to Japan to visit the Tokyo municipalities and engage in exchange activities through para-sports. With the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games just around the corner, this online conference is an opportunity to reflect on the fruitful cooperation and achievements that have been made to date. Project participants, experts and cooperation partners from both Japan and the Netherlands will share their experiences and insights on para-sports. The event aims to provide an opportunity to think about the importance of social participation of people with disabilities through sports and the future potential of the project.

Event details

Title: Game Changer Project Conference

Date: August 19, 2021 (Thursday) 16:00-17:30 (Japan Standard Time) / 09:00-10:30 (Central European Time)

Location: Online (Pre-registration:

Game Changer, Edogawa-ku
Image: ©NOC*NSF / JSC

Game Changer “Social Change through Paralympic Sports”

NOC*NSF has the ambition to contribute to a long lasting social legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the host cities of the Games. After completing a successful project in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 NOC*NSF launched its next social project, the so-called Game Changer project, for the 2020 Games in Tokyo. Through the Game Changer project NOC*NSF supports the integration of people with an impairment in the Japanese society. The Game Changer project is endorsed and supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Japan.

Better integration of people with an impairment is one of the main objectives of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee and the Japanese government for the 2020 Games. In the last few decades NOC*NSF and sports organization have gained a lot of experience in the field of Paralympics and sport for people with an impairment. Sports, by all means, is an excellent way to give people with an impairment self-confidence, to facilitate their integration in society as well as to strengthen and enhance the contact between individuals with and without an impairment. NOC*NSF is pleased to share this experience and knowledge with Japan and, therefore, NOC*NSF has decided to put the integration of disabled people at the heart of its social project.

Since 2017, at least twice a year, Dutch experts share their knowledge and experience with regards to sport for people with an impairment with sports clubs, schools and local governmental bodies in Tokyo. The knowledge transfer focuses on the strengthening of these organizations, so as to enable these organizations to offer, realize and independently implement a sports program for individuals with an impairment in the future. In addition Dutch Paralympic athletes travel regularly to Tokyo in order to inspire and motivate people with an impairment, their families, teachers, coaches et cetera with their personal stories, their passion and their Paralympic or Olympic accomplishments.

In the Game Changer project, NOC*NSF closely cooperates with the Japan Sport Council (JSC), the Dutch Embassy in Japan and three Tokyo districts: Edogawa City, Nishitokyo City and Adachi City. Due to the postponement of the Tokyo Games the project has been extended and will run until March 2022. During COVID-19 travel restrictions in the Netherlands and Japan the Game Changer project will continue remotely through online workshops and meetings.

■Conference program




Mr Gerard DIELESSEN, NOC*NSF secretary general 

Project approach and cooperation Ms Rita VAN DRIEL, Game Changer Project Manager, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board member
Video message

Ms Yayoi KONDO, Adachi City mayor 
Mr Takeshi SAITO, Edogawa City mayor 
Mr Takashi IKEZAWA, Nishitokyo City mayor 

Presentations by project participants

Ms Marie HARA, Staff, Mizuno Sports Service
Ms Katsuyo ANEMATSU, Club Manager, Nishihara Sports Club
Mr Mitsuho SAKATA, Director, Sports Promotion Section, Lifelong Learning Support Division, Adachi city

Presentations by Para-athletes

Japan: Erika HANAOKA(Para-swimmer) Based in Edogawa-ku, Tokyo. She is aiming to participate in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
The Netherlands: Gert-Jan SCHEP (Para-athletics)

Research presentation

Mr Anoma VAN DER VEERE, researcher LeidenAsiaCentre

Round table with municipalities'

Moderator: Ms. Rita VAN DRIEL 

Mr Masato YASUDA, Assigned Chief of Olympic and Paralympic Subsection, Administrative Strategy Promotion Section, Policy and Administration Division, Adachi city

Mr Yusuke NAKAMACHI, Assistant Manager, Para-sports Promotion Subsection, Sports Promotion Section, Edogawa city 

Ms Mika MOTOYA, Senior staff, Sports Promotion Section, Living, Cultural and Sports Division, Nishitokyo city

Final remarks

Ms Esther Vergeer, NOC*NSF, Chef de Mission Paralympics
Game Changer, Adachi-ku
Image: ©NOC*NSF / JSC

■Milestones Game Changer

Visit: Gamechanger Tokyo 2020 Project - NOCNSF


Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Japan

Public Diplomacy, Politics, Culture

TEL : 03-5776-5404