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AUS+RALLY recognises 26 official partners promoting online exchanges

AUS+RALLY recognises 26 official partners promoting online exchanges

As we mark 100 days until the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the Australian Embassy in Tokyo is pleased to announce that 26 local governments and organisations have been recognised as official partners of the AUS+RALLY campaign. AUS+RALLY is the Australian Government’s sports diplomacy initiative in Japan.

Launched in April 2019 in partnership with Rugby Australia, the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia, the AUS+RALLY sports diplomacy initiative brings together new and existing sports diplomacy activities through a communications and events program. The program aims to support Japan’s hosting of the world’s greatest sporting events and their legacy.

AUS+RALLY partner organisations are called “Friends of Australia”, recognising their valued support for Team Australia ahead of Japan’s hosting of the world’s largest sporting events. The local governments are Odawara City, Kanagawa; Fuchu City, Tokyo; Nagaoka City, Niigata; Saitama Prefecture; Ageo City, Saitama; Urayasu City, Chiba; Musashino City, Tokyo; Chuo Ward, Tokyo; Ibaraki City, OsakaKobe city, HyogoInashiki city, IbarakiBureau of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games PreparationAbashiri city, HokkaidoToda city, Saitama; Kamaishi city, IwateFujisawa city, Kanagawa; Kanagawa PrefectureIna town, SaitamaOta city, Gunma.

The recognised organisations are: Club Australia, Gateway, Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Kanto District University Junko Baseball Association, the Executive Committee for the Australian Patrol Competition Project, the Tokyo Goannas and Australian Football League Japan (in order of application).

In June 2020, the AUS+RALLY website relaunched with more information about Australia’s sports diplomacy activities in Japan, Australian sports and fun facts about Australia (https://australly.jp/en/). With face-to-face exchange greatly limited, the Embassy is supporting schools as they bridge the distance between Australia and Japan using creative online engagement. The Embassy has also provided online educational videos and materials to assist Japanese students learn about Australia.

As part of these activities, the Embassy is supporting the Australian Olympic Committee’s Australian Olympic Connect program which links Australian schools with schools located in the Olympic host country.  Ahead of Tokyo 2020, “Australian Olympic Connect Tomodachi 2021” program aims at linking young Australians to their counterparts in Japan. The objectives of this program align closely with the Embassy’s AUS+RALLY sports diplomacy initiative.

Last year, 20 schools from Australia and 20 schools from Japan participated in the pilot program. Over two months, students from Australia and Japan met online with their peers through video conferencing or through email exchange and learned a great deal about each others’ countries and cultures.

“Tomodachi 2021” has commenced registration for schools to join the program in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 games (April – July 2021) There have been over 400 schools which have registered their interest in the program. Registration for Japanese schools is open until the end of April.

Australian Ambassador to Japan, Jan Adams commented

The Tomodachi 2021 program will allow Australian and Japanese students to meet online, learn together, learn about each other and celebrate the Olympic Spirit. Through the Tomodachi 2021, I hope that new ties and relationships will be forged between both our countries. I really encourage schools to embrace this exciting opportunity to connect our young people and to learn from each other.”

The AUS+RALLY Australia-Japan Sports Diplomacy Initiative is welcoming new Friends of Australia. Come, rally around the best of Australia in Japan! Visit the AUS+RALLY website (https://australly.jp/en/) for more details on the campaign and how to become a Friend of Australia.

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