First Deaf man passes C class soccer coach

FUKUSHIMA Futoshi is the first Japanese Deaf coach officially certified in C class by the Japan Football Association.

FUKUSHIMA Futoshi (31), a born-Deaf company employee, passed the examination of the "officially certified C class coach" of the Japan Football Association on December 19. He is the first Deaf coach officially certified in the country according to the Kumamoto prefecture soccer society located in the southern island of Japan.

Fukushima is a head coach of a private soccer team "FC Winared Junior" which he established four years ago, with about 20 teammates who are Deaf children, students of the Kumamoto School for the Deaf and their siblings. He has acquired the D class coach certificate necessary for the elementary school team, last November.

Fukushima decided to get himself promoted to the C class to acquire more knowledge. He took the examination on December 18-19 that included the practice test and the written examination which are not included in the previous D class coach examination.

For the practice test, he would give the players the direction which are mainly technical terms of which the knowledge the interpreter must know. So, ISHIBASHI Tadashi (17), a friend of Fukushima for ten years and a soccer club member of a hearing high school who is fluent in sign language, interpreted for him during the test. Fukushima says, "Thanks to him, I passed the test".

Fukushima had played with his hearing friends of his age in the park in the vicinity at early elementary school years. Soccer was one of his favorite sports. "I joined those boys without any difficulty. I liked to play and indeed enjoyed it with them".

However, there is no soccer club in the Kumamoto School for the Deaf, so he joined the baseball club. He said that he had envied the soccer practice at another school.

Fukushima works in the auto parts producing company in Kumamoto City, and stands in the ground as a head coach on Saturday. "I want to tell the Deaf children about the joy of playing soccer. Also I want tell them; Never give up!".

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