Variety of Japan, Health, Education and Sports March 31, 2015 12:04 AM - Variety Japan

Variety Japan was founded in 2001 by Mr. Masaaki Chiba – the Chief Barker of Japan inspired by his own experience. Since his injury at a young age, he started his career as a wheelchair runner at track and field. At Atlanta Paralympics in 1996, he saw an American girl wheelchair runner won the gold medal at three different competitions; 100m, 200m and 400m and he felt that he need to support and nurture youth athletes in Japan. Mr. Chiba also remembers clearly the day he met the Duke of Kent in 2003 at the Variety conference in Chicago. The Duke’s words touched him deeply and have been an ever present reminder of what Variety stands for.

Mr. Chiba knew that many sports program for handicapped children were developed overseas and one of the biggest supporter and advocate is Variety – the Children’s Charity. His dream and aim was to spread Variety’s sports program and support system in Japan.

Since then, after his Atlanta trip and retirement, he started to find sponsorships and asked cooperation for support of handicapped children and in support of young athletes.

Variety Japan introduced two missions. Variety of Japan delivers life- changing and life – enriching services for mobility, independence, education, self-esteem and social inclusion through participation in challenging sports.

Through the support and cooperation of sponsors and Mr. Chiba’s friends from the sports world, Variety of Japan have held many sports events and charity for children in wheelchair, such as sports experience day, sports camp and Santa Fun Run.

Since 2011, the year Japan suffered the large earthquake in Tohoku, Variety Japan has hosted a Variety Santa Fun Run to raise awareness in the community and funds for children.

Variety Japan was inspired by the many happy photos of Santa Fun Runs in Australia. The money raised has gone to help children affected by the earthquake in Tohoku to improve their education and mental health.

On November 30th 2014 we held a Santa Fun Run in Odaiba in the Port are of Tokyo. It was a beautiful sunny day for the 95 Santa’s and 30 staff and volunteers to run the 3km along the Port side of Odaiba area wearing the same red outfits. Volunteers came from several universities and enjoyed the event enormously.

The donation for 2014 was granted to the local government of Hiroshima prefecture and NPO Grief Support, both of who support children’s health and education, especially for orphans.

Thank you to the Universities and Sponsors for their help is hosting the event. Variety Japan is already focusing on the 2015 Variety Santa Fun Run!

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Variety of Japan. The potential is huge and the goal is to maximize the real long term positive social impact for children. Variety of Japan continues to deliver effective programs, equality and a future without limits to every child.