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Close-Up on Social Contributions

Contributing to Society through Sports: One of Kobe Steel's Distinctive Activities

The KOBELCO Cup is entering its 10th year, with special support from the Kobe Steel Group. We are helping to train stronger men's and women's rugby teams, in anticipation of the Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo Olympics.

Special support for high school rugby

The "other Hanazono":
nurturing the next generation of Japan

The "other Hanazono: nurturing the next generation of Japan.

The KOBELCO Cup 2014—covering the 10th All-Japan High School Inter-School Team Rugby Football Tournament and the 4th All-Japan High School Girls' Rugby Sevens Football Tournament—was held July 31-August 3, 2014 at Sugadaira Sania Park in Nagano Prefecture. The KOBELCO Cup is often called the "other Hanazono," in recognition of the number of participants who have gone on each year to become national-level athletes. "Hanazono" is a reference to the nickname for the annual National High School Rugby Tournament.

The KOBELCO Cup was first held in 2005 in Yubari, Hokkaido, before being moved to Sugadaira for its fourth year in 2008. The tournament is carried out in nine blocks, covering all of Japan. The tournament includes a U17 division (players under age 17), consisting of select players aiming to make the national team in the future, and a U18 division (players under age 18), with teams composed of athletes unable to participate in the regular Hanazono tournament due to a lack of players at their school.

Special support and participation from the Kobe Steel Rugby Club

Special support and participation from the Kobe Steel Rugby Club.

The KOBELCO Cup consists of matches between U17 and U18 players selected from throughout the country, and aims to raise their skill through high-level matches.

Members of the Kobelco Rugby Club (the Kobelco Steelers) and alumni (the Classic Steelers) also participate and offer support. These members are keen to offer inspiration and guidance to the high school players, who represent the next-generation of the sport.

Support for girls' rugby sevens, in anticipation of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics

Support for girls' rugby sevens, in anticipation of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Girls' rugby sevens was added to the KOBELCO Cup in 2011. Rugby sevens for both men and women will be added as an official Olympic sport in 2016, and the KOBELCO Cup will help support stronger players for the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Kobe Steel Group has offered special support for the KOBELCO Cup for 10 years and running, and will continue to contribute to rugby in Japan by nurturing future generations of high school athletes.

Other Sports Activities

The support of athletics helps contribute to regional exchange and the health of children.

Nadahama Sports Zone
Regional Exchange Promoted through Sports

Regional Exchange Promoted through Sports

The Nadahama Sports Zone, which is home to the Kobelco Rugby Club, includes an artificial-turf sports ground and tennis courts. It is open to the general public.

Equipment for sports such as rugby, soccer, American football and ground golf are also available for rent at the artificial-turf ground. The field serves as a gathering place for sports-loving members of the community, including local schools, rugby teams and soccer teams.

Increasing Participation in a New Sport: Space Ball

Increasing Participation in a New Sport: Space Ball

Space Ball was devised by SCIX, a sports NPO supported by Kobe Steel. Like rugby and soccer, the sport involves using a ball and was designed to train children's physical abilities and their situational judgment. SCIX relies on Kobe Steel's unique collection of rugby professionals and facilities, inviting local elementary school children to Nadahama Sports Zone to participate in the new sport.

Contributions by the Kobe Steel Rugby Club

Top league contenders, the Kobelco Steelers meet fan support with a variety of social contributions.

Donating to the Japan Spinal Cord Foundation,
12 Years and Running

Donating to the Japan Spinal Cord Foundation, 
12 Years and Running

On August 18, 2014, the Kobelco Rugby Club donated ¥232,921 to the Japan Spinal Cord Foundation (an NPO). These funds came from match fundraising activities held during the last season and the proceeds of the Kobelco Rugby Festival 2014, which was held on July 6, 2014.

The Rugby Club has been donating to the Foundation for 12 years, as spinal cord damage is an injury to which rugby players are particularly susceptible.

Participation in Tag Rugby Meet in Watari (Miyagi Prefecture)

Participation in Tag Rugby Meet in Watari (Miyagi Prefecture)

On October 31-November 1, 2014, three Kobelco Steelers players—Takashi Sato, Yusuke Hamashima and Hideki Tanabe—participated in a tag rugby meet held In Wataricho, Miyagi Prefecture.

On the first day they visited Watari Elementary School to take part in a tag rugby lesson for the third grade class, where the children were deeply impressed by seeing the pro athletes in action. On the second day they participated in a tag rugby meet held at the school's field. A total of 10 teams and 150 students participated, eagerly giving their all during the matches.

Ongoing Support for Recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake

Ongoing Support for Recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake

On October 9, 2014, the Kobe Steel Rugby Club donated a total of ¥2,005,651 to the Hyogo branch of the Japanese Red Cross Society, in support of recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake. The total included a portion of fan club membership dues from the 2013-2014 season, a portion of proceeds from Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers vending machines, and funds raised at matches during the last season.

We will continue to support recovery for disaster-stricken areas, never forgetting the effect that the Great East Japan Earthquake had on us all.