Rising Stars Clinic

What Is the Rising Stars Clinic?

The Rising Stars Clinic is an original social contribution activity of TDK. Interconnecting with TDK's communication message of "Attracting Tomorrow," the Rising Stars Clinic provides an opportunity for young people eager to open up a new future to engage in exchange with top athletes and to experience the world's foremost places of challenge at firsthand. As an Official IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) Partner, TDK has continued to hold the clinic regularly in conjunction with international events of the IAAF for students interested in track and field athletics with the aim of encouraging them to become athletes in the future.

Starting in 2017, TDK provides the following opportunities:

  • To directly learn the joy of athletics and techniques from top athletes.
  • By watching the tournament, to experience world-class and closely fought contests at firsthand.
  • Through the "Behind-the-Scenes Tour," to have a peek behind the curtain of a major tournament.

Ten top athletes from five countries selected from among legendary former stars and up-and-coming talent, have cooperated in this program. They have included gold medalists and world record holders.
The clinic is popular among not only the young participants but the top athletes as well.

By interlinking its corporate stance of contributing to the realization of the future society through its proprietary technology with the "challenging the future" spirit of young people eager to open up the future, TDK seeks to convey the depth and fascination of being active on the world stage and to support athletes continuing their insatiable challenge of records and personal bests.

  1. First clinic

    The first clinic was held on July 10, 2017, at Stoke Newington School & Sixth Form in London in conjunction with IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017.

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  2. Second clinic

    The second clinic was held on March 5, 2018, in Birmingham in the United Kingdom in conjunction with IAAF Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018.

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  3. Third clinic

    The third clinic was held on May 11, 2019, in Yokohama, Japan, in conjunction with IAAF World Relays Yokohama 2019.

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First clinic (London, July 2017)

  • Instructors: Four competing young top athletes
    • Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (UK); 200 m & 4x100 m
    • Noah Lyles (USA); 100/200 m & 4x100 m
    • Dominique Scott-Efurd (South Africa); 5,000/10,000 m
    • Jake Wightman (UK); 800/1,500 m
  • Moderator:

    Colin Jackson (UK); 110 m hurdles (silver medalist at 1988 Seoul Olympics, gold medalist at 1999 IAAF World Athletics Championships)

  • Coach:

    Toni Minichiello (UK)

  • Participating students

    24 students of Stoke Newington School & Sixth Form (aged 13–14 years)

The participating students divided into four teams and, after a warmup, received lessons in running, passing the baton, and so on from the young top athletes acting as instructors and the coach. As icing on the cake, the teams then took part in an actual relay. After having received instruction, the students enjoyed a hotly contested race.
At the end of the event, the students shouted with joy when they were presented with invitation tickets enabling them to watch the IAAF World Athletics Championships, to be held at the London Stadium the following month, from a special booth. On the day of their visit, before watching the athletics, they took part in a behind-the-scenes tour of the London Stadium, which enabled them to have a peek behind the curtain of the IAAF World Athletics Championships.

Comments by Participants

  • "It was only a half-day clinic, but my use of my legs when running has changed."
  • "Being taught one-to-one by my heroes is a memory I'll never forget."

Comments by Athletes

  • "In today's event the students and athletes were able to stimulate one another. It was a good day for me too."
  • "It was good that we were able to have a real impact that is difficult to get by just watching events."
  • "We don't often have the chance to convey the depth of athletics to the next generation through our own experiences, so I really hope such opportunities will increase in the future."
The four young athletes
(From left) Noah Lyles, Dominique Scott-Efurd, Colin Jackson, Jake Wightman, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, and Toni Minichiello
The four teams compete in a relay.
Tape-cut by the winning team
An autograph session at the end of the event

Second Clinic (Birmingham, March 2018)

  • Instructors/guides: Four top athletes
    • Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (UK); gold medalist (4 x 100 m) at IAAF World Athletics Championships in London
    • Dominique Scott-Efurd (South Africa); holder of South African national records for 1,500 m and 3,000 m
    • Aries Merit (USA); holder of world record for 110 m hurdles
    • Jereem Richards (Trinidad and Tobago); bronze medalist (4 x 400 m) at IAAF World Athletics Championships in London
  • Participating Students:

    20 students belonging to athletic clubs in Birmingham (aged 12–18 years)
    ※Track and field athletics is especially popular in Birmingham, and most of the participants were seriously engaged in athletics.

The program featured a behind-the-scenes tour in which the participating students from athletic clubs in Birmingham, together with the currently competing top athletes, took a look behind the curtain of an international athletic tournament, thereby having the same experience as actual athletes.
At first the participants were very excited when they saw the top athletes close at hand. Especially when they met Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, a star athlete in the United Kingdom, for the first time, they were so overawed and nervous, they were almost unable to move. In the warming-up space, however, they did warmup exercises with the athletes, and as their bodies loosened up, smiles began to appear on their faces. They began to directly ask questions to the athletes and actively communicate with them.
After the warmup, the participants experienced the actual stewardship of athletes at a tournament, going from the warming-up space to the area for putting on bibs and the waiting area, hearing a talk on ways to enhance mental concentration in the waiting room just prior to entry, and then being led out into the field. Here the participants ran 60 m with the athletes on an actually used track. With the cooperation of Seiko Holdings, the official timer for the tournament, time measurement and photography were conducted at the finish using the latest photo-finish camera for sports events. In addition, there was a happy bonus in the form of a mock interview in the press area with the student who won the race. Finally, the participating students watched the world-class athletes from the stands as they ran on the track.

Comments by Participants

  • "It was very useful to learn about not only warmup exercises but pre-race mental preparedness as well."
  • "Being able to run together with athletes I admire was a very memorable experience."

Comments by Athletes

  • "It was a very good opportunity to teach the joy of athletics to the next generation. I hope such events can be held more frequently."
  • "I recalled my own feelings as a child when I dreamed of becoming a first-class athlete. It was very stimulating."
Aries Merit (right) gives a talk on warmup exercises.
The behind-the-scenes tour gives participants a peek backstage.
Participants listen to instructions from the athletes as they get ready on the starting line. On your mark, get set . . .!
With athletes after running 60 m. On the far right is Jereem Richards; on the far left is Dominique Scott.
A participants experiences a mock interview. On the right is Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake.
The latest photo-finish camera can take 2,000 images per second.
An autograph session at the end of the event

Third Clinic (Yokohama, May 2019)

The third clinic was held in conjunction with IAAF World Relays Yokohama 2019, which were taking place in Japan. The following top athletes took part in the event. It was the third time for Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake to serve as an instructor. He is very enthusiastic about this program by TDK.

  • Instructors/guides: Three top athletes
    • Shingo Suetsugu (Japan): silver medalist (4 x 100 m) at Beijing Olympics; professional short-distance runner
    • Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (UK); gold medalist (4 x 100 m) at IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017
    • Aleia Hobbs (USA): gold medalist (4 x 100 m) at IAAF World Relays Yokohama
  • Participating Students:

    16 elementary and junior high school students selected from athletic clubs and international schools in the area

Facing three world top athletes head on, the young participants looked tense. It was not long before they appeared to open up, thanks to warm comments by the athletes such as "Team, huddle up! Let's do our best!". There were also many cheerful and kind coaching gestures, such as high fives and self-introductions.
To begin with, the athletes showed the youngsters how to stretch and warm up in the designated area, learning how important it is to train and strengthen their body. They then experienced professional gear inspections in the Call Room, later entering the main stadium team by team taking the same route as the athletes who compete in the IAAF World Relays. The athletes constantly asked questions like, "If you sit next to your opponent in the Call Room, what would you do to stay calm?" This enabled the young participants to imagine what goes on in the athlete's minds, they were now physically and emotionally engaged. The finale was a 4x100m relay race on the main track, followed by mock media interviews in the stadiums' mixed zone.
After the event, the participating students and their families were invited to watch the tournament. For the students, watching the athletes who just now had been instructing them perform in front of their very eyes in an international contest was an unforgettable experience.

Comments by Participants

  • "It was really fun and a good experience―quite different from my usual training and lessons."
  • "I was so happy to be able to run with top athletes of the world in the same stadium."
  • "It was a great feeling to be able to run on the track just like a first-class athlete."

Comment by Shingo Suetsugu

"I was so pleased to hear the children say they had enjoyed it after running. I like children, and I like enjoying athletics together with them. Like the children, I was a bit nervous, but it was good to have that athlete feeling again. All of the children who participated had a strong desire to win, and it was fascinating to see that reflected in the race. No matter how fast you are, or whether you win or lose, you can also enjoy athletics just by thinking together with the rest of your team about your entry pose. I want children simply to have fun running. This Rising Stars Clinic is a good idea because it brings children and experienced athletes together. It is a valuable time in which children seek to attract the future. I really hope it will be continued."

Warming up
Warming up
From the meeting place to the main stadium
From the meeting place to the main stadium
Each team decided on a pose and entered on announcement.
A 4 x 100 m relay on the main stadium track
Interviewing the winning team
After the event, Suetsugu held an autograph session.

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