Twice a year, ALTs from across Japan gather to compete in the All Japan ALT soccer tournament. The eastern division of the tournament is held at Sania Sports Park in Sugadaira, Nagano. With verdant pitches nestled in between the mountains, there is more than just soccer drawing people out for this weekend.
Every year, Fukushima attends the autumn tournament. While the Lucky Islanders aren’t always the strongest team on the field, Team Akabeko is always the champion of the cheering and partying divisions of the tournament. This year, the tournament will be held on October 5th and 6th. While Nagano might seem a bit far away, your trusty FuJET co-presidents have organised a charter bus to get us there in the peak of style (seriously, the bus has a chandelier). The bus will do pick-ups on Friday October 4th, after work, in Fukushima City, Koriyama, and Aizuwakamatsu. From there, that is where the party starts.
On Saturday, each team will play three or four games (fifteen or twenty minute halves) in a league style tournament. Following these games, teams will be ranked, and then on Sunday all teams will enter a knock-out cup competition. For the men, it is likely that we will have two tournaments on Sunday for the ‘The best’, and ‘The rest’ (depending on the number of participating teams).
But what if you don’t play soccer? Will you have to miss out on this fantastic weekend? Poppycock! This is a trip for the entirety of Fukushima. You see, not only is there soccer to watch and cheer about, Saturday night there is an amazing party, kicked off by a pub quiz and charity raffle. All in all, it’s an amazing weekend where you don’t only bond with your fellow Akabekos, but also form friendships with other ALTs from across Japan. So, what are you waiting for? Check out the Facebook Event Page and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and sign up now!