June 12, 2015
Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa Prefecture:
Okita (right) and Morimitu (center)
practice with Coach Inoue (left) in the
Kanazawa Seiryo University Athletics Club.
Two Deaf students, Okita Taiga, 20, and Morimitsu Yuya, 19, are trying hard to improve themselves at the Athletics Club in the Kanazawa Seiryo University at Kanazawa-shi. They have also been the rivals in a national tournament since their high school days.
It was Okita who made the opportunity which both would continue to compete each other at the university.
When about to graduate from Ishikawa School for the Deaf, Okita was invited by Inoue Akihiro, 54, coach of the Kanazawa Seiryo University aiming at "normalization" through a sport, and Okita went to the university in 2013.
Coach Inoue was told by Okita that there was a better athlete than he. So Coach went to Kochi School for the Deaf and met Morimitsu personally, recommending entrance to the university.
About 70 students belong to the University Athletics Club at present. During practicing, Morimitsu who has a relatively better hearing ability tells Okita the directions from the surrounding in sign language. Coach tries to communicate with the Deaf students in simple sign language that he had learned during working at the school for the deaf, too.
Existence of the two Deaf students was also the opportunity for the university to make enrich the support study system: it collected students for the first time as a note-taker when Okita was admitted. There are about 35 note takers at present.