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News - 9th December 2021

A great place to be

Nagano 2 Hironokaigan

Tetsuya Nagano, an amputee soccer player in Japan, was invited to participate at parkrun by Hitoshi, the Event Director of Hirono Kaigankoen parkrun.


He’d initially been reluctant to join in anything outside of his soccer group, but the warm welcome at parkrun soon allayed his fears. Now he’s also introduced parkrun to his teammates, as an event where they can all participate without worrying about whether they are amputees or not.


Here’s his story.


Thank you for having me take part in parkrun!


Takahashi Hironokaigan 3


Last year, I tried to get the team cheered up with a Push-Up Challenge, but this year, the team were suffering from COVID-19 pandemic fatigue and not feeling well. This season, I was asked to be a captain of the team and I introduced them to parkrun in the hope that they would be comfortable to train individually.


Amputee friends tend to be worried about the running environment and it is not easy for them to find somewhere suitable to take part. I think parkrun is a great place to be able to participate in various ways.


It was all thanks to Hitoshi that I was given the opportunity to participate. I knew about parkrun from Hitoshi  for a long time, but since I worked on Saturdays, I did not have a chance to join in. In March and April my work schedule changed, it became easier for me to take Saturdays and Sundays off and I was finally able to attend parkrun for the first time.


When I first participated in parkrun, it was with my son, but seeing the primary school kids and soccer group kids around me trying their best, it made me want to try harder and to run for a personal best.




To be honest, I’ve never been good at marathons and endurance running, and I’m not a fan of them. However, parkrun is just the right distance and thanks to the support of the volunteers, I was able to really enjoy running harder than I would normally.


It can be difficult to stop caring about what others think of me. In fact, I used to run at night because I didn’t want anyone to see me running outside in the daytime. Amputee soccer players are brave enough to participate in soccer because they are with friends who are also amputees. However, it takes a lot more courage for them to mix and participate in an event with the general public.


My relationship with parkrun has grown closer. The parkrun volunteers went to see a recent training game of GANESA (GANESA Shizuoka Amputee Football Club), and I was invited to talk about amputee soccer at a local primary school.


I would like to spread the word that amputees can have fun at parkrun! I am also encouraged to do my best because of the volunteers at parkrun and GANESA.


I am grateful to Hitoshi for giving me the chance to challenge myself in such an environment. I hope that one day, all GANESAs and other fellow amputee soccer players will be able to participate in parkrun at various places around Japan.




It’s hard to express my feelings although I would like to thank Hitoshi and everyone involved in parkrun!




Thank you very much. I would love to support parkrun and participate again whenever I have the time.


I hope there will be more parkruns all over Japan in the near future!


Watarase 234


It’s so great that more and more amputee soccer players and their families have been seen at parkrun in many parts of Japan.


Tetsuya Nagano


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