Japanese Player Introduces Ultimate To Congo, Hopes To Help Bring Peace

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Haru Ohkawa wants to help bring peace to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. His approach? Introduce them to Ultimate.

In just a six month trip to the Congo in 2012, he introduced Ultimate to a country that had never seen it before, traveling to over 20 cities to share the game. He eventually managed to meet with government officials and get ultimate classified as an official national sport, according to his recent TedX talk at a Japanese university.

He hopes to help grow the sport in the country as a means to alleviating the conflict that has mired it for decades. According to a rough English translation of his Ready For page, he feels that two features of ultimate — that contact is disallowed and that it is self-officiated — make it an outstanding game to begin to challenge the violence in the country.

He is currently raising money on Ready For, a Japanese Kickstarter-like crowdfunding website, to host a National tournament later this year. He has already received pledges of over 1.4 million Yen ($15,000).

At press time, we have not yet spoken to Ohkawa, but have a request in with him to speak about his work.

Here is his TedX talk from earlier this year:

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  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email (charlie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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