This September, 16 of our NZ Under 19 male athletes will be travelling to Japan for the U19 floorball championship qualification. They will be up against Australia, Iran and the host nation Japan. All vying for the honour to represent their country in 9th Men's Under 19 World Floorball Championship (Sweden, May 2017). Representing your country is daunting enough, travelling to a non English speaking country must be downright petrifying!
Luckily, Asia NZ Foundation (ANZF) stepped in and offered it's inaugural pre-departure workshop. The session was designed to introduce the athletes to enigma of the Land of the Rising Sun: the food, language, zany technology and most importantly, the culture. It was the latter that prompted ANZF to invite Narukami Taiko to showcase the sounds of Japan.
Jessie started by talking about the history of Taiko and it's modern day interpretation. Then, the troupe got down to business and performed one of its cornerstone pieces: The powerful reverberation of thunder and lightning called "Gaina". The primal beats combined with the drama and flair of the players provides a stunning introduction to Taiko. Soon, it was the athletes turn to have a go. Jessie taught one of the team's drills called Yon Hachi Sandoko Juu Roku and got them to play the whole thing in 10 mins. Enough to whet their appetites and leave them wanting more.
With that, the session drew to a close. The lively workshop has given the athletes a glimpse of Japan and hopefully, make their travels a little less intimidating. Good luck athletes!