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 同財団は「コロナ対策を講じながら、新たなプログラムを展開予定」としており、秋田北地方の各市町村も今後、広報などを通じて多くの参加を呼びかける。  (午前零時)


By English

In preparation for the "Challenge Day 2023" on May 31, the Sasakawa Sports Foundation (with Chairman Kazutoshi Watanabe) announced the match-ups for the domestic organizers. The Akita North Region will hold a "Cultural Heritage Showdown" between Kazuno City and Kitaakita City.

Challenge Day is a citizen participation sports event aimed at promoting daily sports habits, improving residents' health, and revitalizing communities. It is held worldwide every year on the last Wednesday of May. It is divided into six categories based on population size, and municipalities in the same category compete for the participation rate of residents who engage in sports or exercise for 15 minutes or more between midnight and 9 p.m.

The defeated municipality raises the winner's flag at the government building to acknowledge their efforts, and this competition has also led to ongoing exchanges between municipalities. This year marks the 31st event, with 68 municipalities (35 cities, 28 towns, and 5 villages) expected to participate nationwide, including 15 cities and towns from Akita Prefecture out of 25 entries.

One of the highlights of the Akita North Region is the "Cultural Heritage Showdown" between Kazuno City, which has the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage "Dainichido Bugaku," and Kitaakita City, which has the world cultural heritage site "Ishidodai Archaeological Site." While there was a district showdown between the Kinnoke and Oono districts of Misato Town in 2012, this will be the first municipality showdown in the prefecture.

In addition, Odate City will face Hashima City in Gifu Prefecture, and Kosaka Town will compete in a three-way battle with Tagata Town in Aomori Prefecture and Nanmoku Village in Gunma Prefecture to aim for the top spot. On the other hand, Kamioka Village will participate in the open category without a designated opponent, as in the previous year.

Incidentally, in the Akita North Region last year, Kazuno City and Kitaakita City won their matchups, Kosaka Town had a decisive victory, and Odate City placed second with a difference of about 10 points in the three-way battle.

Furthermore, medals and certificates will be awarded according to population and participation rates in each category. Odate City and Kitaakita City will receive gold medals, Kosaka Town will receive a silver medal, Kazuno City will receive a bronze medal, and Kamioka Village, which participates in the open category, will receive a silver medal.

The foundation plans to "implement new programs while taking measures against COVID-19," and each city and town in the Akita North Region will call for more participation through public relations and other means in the future.