Age often stands as a defining factor and an indicator of experience and maturity, but sometimes it is the youthful exuberance that breathes new life into a team.

Mizuho Fujimoto is a dynamic force within Japan women’s sitting volleyball team, who at the age of 19, is not just a player but already an inspiration for the youth.

“I’ve been playing sitting volleyball for two years in the national team,” shared Fujimoto.

Despite being one of the youngest members of the team, her dedication and talent have already propelled her to prominence within the team. As she prepares to compete against European teams, Fujimoto sees it as an opportunity to showcase the indomitable Japanese spirit.

“It’s my first time to compete with European teams, and this is my chance to show them the Japanese spirit that I have inside of me,” she remarked. “Our team continues to keep this good energy here in Dali.”

In a team where experience meets youthful vigour, Mizuho acknowledged the invaluable lessons imparted by her seniors.

“Being one of the youngest players in the team, my seniors always teach me a lot of things,” she explained.

“They tell me about their experiences and techniques. The younger players, like myself, are then able to show and give the spirit and the power of the youth. It starts and ends with very good harmony in the Japanese team.”

Outside the sitting volleyball court, Fujimoto is a diligent student, pursuing a programme in education at the university. Her ambition resonates with empathy and compassion as she shared her aspirations.

“Someday, I would like to become a teacher for students with special needs,” she revealed.

For her, the synergy her academic pursuits and her role in the national team is seamless.

“It is not so difficult to balance my studies as a student and as a member of the national team because my school specialises in handling the needs of people with disabilities,” she said.

“These two responsibilities are not different at all. They are connected to each other.”

Fujimoto’s venture into Para sports has not only shaped her athletic competence but has also deepened her understanding of inclusivity and diversity.

“When I come to any competition, I see so many Para athletes playing in important events,” she observed. “This even helps to expose me more in my field of study.”

However, she recognises the challenges faced by Para sports in gaining widespread recognition.

“Para sport is not so popular in my country and the rest of the world. However, as part of the younger generation of Para athletes, I would like to raise awareness about my sport, which is sitting volleyball.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here