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Universities Taking First Steps Toward Resuming Sports Team Practice

Their activity curtailed by the coronavirus crisis, university sports teams are beginning to move toward resuming team practices. On May 27 the University of Tsukuba sports department released guidelines for gradually restarting team activities. Training sessions of up to one hour with fewer than 20 people are expected to be phased in, and it is expected that the university's facilities will reopen on June 19, the date on which the ban on traveling between prefectures in scheduled to be lifted.

The heads of each program within the department had submitted proposals for an early resumption of team training, but the university would not permit the use of on-campus facilities before that date. Based at Tsukuba, men's high jump national record holder Naoto Tobe (28, JAL) has been training at a nearby facility instead.

Nittai University is expected to maintain restrictions on access to its campus until June 10, and facilities at the university cannot be used until then. Juntendo University is in the midst of preparing guidelines and is expected to examine resuming team practice at some point afterward. Waseda University submitted a proposed policy to the university administration on May 27, and if approved limited numbers of athletes will be able to begin doing training sessions of up to two hours at university facilities.

Toyo University has banned access to its student dormitories adjoining training facilities, but has allowed each program to designate specific high-level athletes who can utilize the school's facilities. Under these guidelines, swimmer Rio Shirai, 20, and alumnus sprinter Yoshihide Kiryu (24, Nihon Seimei) have already returned to training at the university. Like Shirai and Kiryu, many athletes aiming for the Tokyo Olympics use universities as their training base. With different policies in place at each school, there is likely to be a range of impacts on the athletes.

Translator's note: A separate article from last week on Yamanashi Gakuin University's phased resumption of training.

source article:
translated by Brett Larner

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