Feb 15, 2019
Rikkyo University partnered with professional climber Miho Nonaka and Toshima Ward to install a speed climbing wall at its Ikebukuro Campus.
Rikkyo University partnered with professional climber Miho Nonaka and Toshima Ward to install a speed climbing wall at its Ikebukuro Campus. Nonaka, who was ranked No. 1 in the World Cup in bouldering in 2018, visited Rikkyo on December 17 for a press conference on the wall – the first in Tokyo’s 23 wards.
In the Tokyo Games, sport climbers will have to compete in three events – bouldering, lead, and speed climbing – with the winner decided by the best overall score. Japanese climbers excel at bouldering and lead climbing, but have room for improvement in speed climbing. Before the wall at the Ikebukuro Campus was built, there was only one speed climbing facility in Tokyo, in Akishima City.
With a need for better training environments for climbers, Rikkyo University decided to install the climbing wall on its Ikebukuro Campus in collaboration with Toshima Ward to help Nonaka, a Toshima native who is based in the area.
From left, Koichi Ozawa, Miho Nonaka, President Kwak and Vice President Matsuo
“Regional and social cooperation is one of the pillars of Rikkyo University’s activities,” Kwak said at the press conference. “Providing a training venue for Ms. Nonaka, who is expected to do well in the Tokyo Olympics, is in line with our university’s philosophy. Rikkyo University students will be able to see with their own eyes Ms. Nonaka’s approach to practice, and will gain much inspiration from her. We would be honored if we can play any part in helping Ms. Nonaka do well in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which would energize all of Japan.”
Nonaka next to the completed climbing wall
Nonaka also made a speech thanking people for their support and expressing her determination to compete. “The speed climbing wall on the campus of Rikkyo University was made possible thanks to the support of many people,” she said. “It showed me again how blessed I am to be in such a good environment. Now that the wall is built, I can come here to practice every day, and I will do my best in training for the 2020 Olympics.”
After Tokyo won its bid to host the 2020 Games, Rikkyo University launched its Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Project in the 2016 academic year to promote activities that will contribute to society and invigorate the university’s educational and research activities through a school-wide framework that includes students, teaching staff and alumni. Rikkyo University’s agreement with Toshima Ward promotes collaboration in the run up to the Olympics through the effective use of both entities’ personnel, know-how and resources.
Jan 14, 2020