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 WA (World Athletics) Partner, TDK has continued to hold the clinic regularly in conjunction with international events of WA (World Athletics) for students interested in track and field athletics with the aim of encouraging them to become athletes in the future.

The fifth Rising Stars Clinic was held during the 19th World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary

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.

Fourteen top athletes from six 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.

Fifth Clinic (Budapest, August 2023)

Students enjoying the entrance performance zone with Bahamian athlete Shaunae Miller-Uibo.
360-degree VR video “Virtual competition experience” by TDK at “Downtown Fan Zone”
Students receiving an explanation of the event's flow in the warm-up area
Starting guidance from a local Hungarian athlete, K. Szabó Gabriella.
Children cutting the tape for the 4x100m relay.
Media interview in the mixed zone. The interviewer is Croatian athlete Blanka Vlašić.
Group photo at the Medal Plaza.
A commemorative photo of the 5th RSC with the tournament mascot, Youhuu.

The sun blazed at an unusual 36°C, casting a golden hue over the National Athletics Center, setting the stage for an exceptional event. The Rising Stars Clinic, sponsored by TDK, dazzled once again in its fifth year, promising a thrilling experience for its participants.

Imagine running the exact same tracks where athletes would compete for the 19th World Athletics Championships. Now, add to that the privilege of receiving guidance from global track and field luminaries. This wasn’t a daydream, but a reality for 16 lucky students, aged 13-15, from the St Anna Greek Catholic High School.

The day kicked off at the bustling "Downtown Fan Zone" in Erzsébet Square, where the students converged at the TDK booth. Their eyes widened with amazement as they indulged in TDK's immersive 360-degree VR video titled "Virtual Competition Experience." That was just the beginning.

The real magic unfolded at the National Athletics Center. Here, the students were introduced to their esteemed coaches - three athletic ambassadors who have carved a niche in the world of sports. Divided into spirited quartets, the young athletes absorbed valuable tips on mastering the 4x100m relay. And then, the moment of truth arrived. Taking their positions on the same lanes earmarked for the championships, the relay began. As the baton passed and hearts raced, the Championships' lively mascot, "Youhuu", made a surprise appearance, injecting an additional burst of enthusiasm.

Post race, emulating the grandeur of global championships, the students were interviewed. But with a twist! Their interviewers were none other than the athlete ambassadors themselves. The pinnacle of the day was the awards ceremony at the Medal Plaza, an emotional affair so moving that it brought the celebrated Noah Lyles to tears. The stirring notes of the Hungarian national anthem added to the charged atmosphere.

As evening descended, the young stars settled down, transitioning from participants to spectators, as they watched the World Athletics Championships unfold.

Participating Students

16 local St Anna Greek Catholic High School students (ages 13-15)

Instructors/Guides: Current Top Athletes and Ambassadors (Three Persons)

  • Shaunae Miller-Uibo (Bahamas): The dynamo behind the Women's 200m, 400m events and the proud gold medalist from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  • K. Szabó Gabriella (Hungary): A force to be reckoned with in the Women's 800m, 1500m, who secured her place at the 2021 Hungarian Indoor Track and Field Championships.
  • Blanka Vlašić (Croatia): The high jump maestro, who clinched silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Comments by Participants

  • “It was a wonderful experience!”
  • “I think it was really great to have so many different projects. "

Comments by the Participating Athletes

  • “Thank you for giving such a valuable experience to Hungarian children.” - K. Szabó Gabriella.
  • “I had a wonderful day with my children.” - Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

Fourth Clinic (Eugene, July 2022)

By running a 4 × 100 m relay, the participating students gained valuable experience of what racing is like for top athletes.
The students ran on the same track as that used for the Championships.
The students were also able to experience being interviewed in the mixed zone (an area where members of the media can interview athletes) after the race ended.
Sinclaire Johnson (USA) coached the students through pre-race training.
All signs and signboards displayed the TDK corporate logo.
Students running on the track with Ashton Eaton (USA)
From the left: Sinclaire Johnson, Valerie Adams, Trey Cunningham, and Ashton Eaton with the participating students

The fourth Rising Stars Clinic was held during the 18th World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, the United States. The participating children were coached by four athletes: Trey Cunningham (USA), winner of the silver medal in the men’s 110 m hurdle at this year’s Championships; Sinclaire Johnson (USA), winner of the women’s 1500 m race at the 2022 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships; Ashton Eaton (USA), a former decathlon athlete who won the gold medal two consecutive times in both the Olympics and the World Athletics Championships; and Valerie Adams (New Zealand), a former shot putter who won gold medals in four consecutive World Athletics Championships and two consecutive Olympics games. The two active athletes and two ambassadors served as special coaches to the children, providing guidance on a range of activities from warming up to actual running technique.

The 16 children who participated in the clinic, members of local track and field clubs, received instruction from the special coaches through stretching and preparatory exercises in the warm-up area, followed by a spike check at the gathering site, and then entered the track with team introductions, taking the same route as the actual competitors. The children were divided into four teams and ran a 4 × 100 m relay race on the track in the main stadium, with the same experience as athletes who participate in actual competition.

The TDK logo was displayed on the screen board and other signs in the main stadium, and an MC described the situation live. After the competition ended, the winners were interviewed in the mixed zone like top athletes and other activities were conducted to create an atmosphere like that of the actual games.

Instructors/Guides: Current Top Athletes and Ambassadors (Four Persons)

  • Trey Cunningham (USA): silver medalist in the men’s 110 m hurdle at the World Athletics Championships (2022)
  • Sinclaire Johnson (USA): gold medalist in the women’s 1500 m race at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships (2022)
  • Ashton Eaton (USA): gold medalist in the decathlon at the World Athletics Championships (2013 and 2015) and at the Olympics Games (2012 and 2016)
  • Valerie Adams (New Zealand): gold medalist in the shot putter at the World Athletics Championships (2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013) and at the Olympics Games (2012 and 2016)

Participating Students

  • 16 elementary and junior high school students selected from local track and field clubs

Comments by the Participating Athletes

  • “I coached the students on basic running skills, and even though track and field is often an individual competition, there are also many things that can be learned by interacting with team members during competition in a relay event, and I hope that the students are able to make the most of this experience in competition in the future.”
  • “The behind-the-scenes tour was an opportunity for the students to experience pre-competition preparations in the same way as a leading athlete. This is not something that people often have the opportunity to experience, and as a track and field athlete, I was very happy to be able to provide this opportunity to young athletes who are starting to spread their wings.”

Comments by Participants

  • “In addition to learning running technique, I really enjoyed the experience of being an actual athlete. This was a good experience.”
  • “I really enjoyed myself and I hope to participate again!”

Third Clinic (Yokohama, May 2019)

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.

The third clinic was held in conjunction with 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.

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 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.

Participating Students

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

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

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."

Second Clinic (Birmingham, March 2018)

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

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.

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.

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."

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."

First clinic (London, July 2017)

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

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 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 World Athletics Championships.

Participating students

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

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


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


Toni Minichiello (UK)

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."

About TDK

TDK is a comprehensive electronic components manufacturer founded in 1935 to commercialize ferrite, an electromagnetic material.
TDK has been an Official Partner of World Athletics Championships since the first competition held in Helsinki in 1983.