World Rowing and Japan Sport Council for Virtual Sports Research and Indoor Rowing

Virtual sports have developed remarkably in recent years. These trends are changing the world of sport, and the sporting community is now placing greater emphasis on working with virtual sports and eSports. 

Recently, the International Olympic Committee announced that the IOC Esports Commission will explore the creation of Olympic Esports Games, following the success of the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore earlier this year, where Indoor Rowing was showcased alongside the best virtual sports from around the world. 

In light of these developments, World Rowing and the Japan Sport Council (JSC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to engage in and promote international collaborative research in virtual sports. Expected areas of cooperation include exchange programmes and visits by representatives of both organisations, international research, presentation of studies at international conferences, seminars, and publication of articles and academic papers. 

The signing ceremony was attended by the JSC President and CEO Satoshi Ashidate, Vice President Takeshi Kukidome, World Rowing President Jean-Christophe Rolland, Executive Director Vincent Gaillard, and Council Member Masakuni Hosobuchi. 

"We are excited to launch this initiative with the Japan Sports Council. Indoor Rowing virtually connects rowers from around the world, fostering a diverse community of fitness and rowing enthusiasts," said Jean-Christophe Rolland, President of World Rowing. 

World Rowing and the Japan Sport Council, working together. WORLD ROWING
World Rowing and the Japan Sport Council, working together. WORLD ROWING

"The events around the world, the development of digital platforms to connect these rowers, and the gamification element all contribute to the ever-growing community of indoor rowers. This partnership with the Japan Sport Council is fully embedded in this strategy and will help to unlock the huge potential of Indoor Rowing," he said. 

Satoshi Ashidate, President and CEO of JSC, added: "I am very pleased to announce that this is the first time that JSC has entered into a cooperation and collaboration agreement with an international sports federation." 

"We are particularly excited about our international joint research project with World Rowing. Through this cooperation agreement, we expect to achieve significant results in the field of virtual sports by leveraging the resources of both JSC and World Rowing. We also hope to play a leading role in contributing to the promotion of sport and the development of a vibrant and diverse international society," he concluded.

World Rowing is the governing body of the sport of rowing. Empowered by its 159-member National Rowing Federations, it sets the rules and regulations for the practice of the sport in all its forms, including Elite, Para-Rowing, Coastal, Masters and Indoor Rowing. World Rowing oversees sanctioned events and provides advice and expertise on the organisation of rowing regattas. It also works on coaching education and other matters relating to the sport and its development.

Established in 2003, the Japan Sport Council is the national agency responsible for promoting sport in Japan. The Japan High-Performance Sport Center (HPSC) within the JSC consists of the Japan Institute of Sports Sciences (JISS) and the National Training Centers (NTC), and works closely with the Japan Olympic Committee and the Japan Paralympic Committee.