51st Seven Universities Athletic Meet Opening Ceremony (July 7, 2012)

The opening ceremony of the 51st Seven Universities Athletic Meet was held in a gymnasium at Kyushu University. The Seven Universities Athletic Meet has a long fifty-one-year history as an arena in which the seven national universities can compete on the basis of their comprehensive strengths by totalling the results of a variety of sporting events. Attended by many people--including presidents, sports union chairs, executives of participating universities, and representatives from Gakushikai--the opening ceremony opened with speeches wishing the players good luck, a pledge for fair play, and an exchange of pennants. Later, attendees watched a video message and a powerful performance by Kyushu University's cheering group.

After the opening ceremony, a reception was held. A kagamibiraki ceremony (ceremonial splitting of a sake barrel) was first performed, which was followed by opening speeches from guests as well as a drum performance and juggling act by local volunteers. Participants at the event were able to mingle together in a friendly atmosphere.

Opening ceremony

Speech by President Hiroshi Matsumoto at the reception

Speech by Sports Union Secretary Yasutaka Hoshino at the reception