In preparation for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the elementary school students at Aichi International School were assigned one of the 20 qualified nations, and asked to research about that country. Some students wrote reports on famous food and people, others colored flags and team uniforms.
Upon returning to school after the summer holidays all the project work was mounted onto a large poster, featuring a springbok (emblem of the South African rugby team) and a member of the Japanese national team – the Brave Blossoms. The project is not only to develop an awareness and understanding of the rugby event itself, but also for students to learn something about the 20 teams/countries that feature in the event.
Awareness of nationalities and countries through sports has been a feature of extra-curricular activities at AIS for a number of years. Students experienced first-hand in January 2014 about rugby, after watching the two Aichi based Toyota teams play in the Japanese Top League, and then had the opportunity to meet players from various countries, who played for Toyota Shokki at that time.
For the current project students are encouraged to follow and support the team, they researched, throughout the Rugby World Cup event. However, there is obviously a strong interest and support for the Brave Blossoms, especially with the next World Cup scheduled to take place in Japan, and indeed at Toyota Stadium, in 2019.