Kids Tournament "Tenka Ichihi Budokai 2022" with a mixture of smiles and tears

The fun of snowboarding is not always expressed only with a smile.The serious look toward the goal, the expression that sometimes shows frustration, and the appearance of enduring the tension and challenging.Everything contains “fun” moments that will come someday.A competition for kids that was planned to feel that it is important to feel it from childhood.What kind of emotions overflowed on the day of the event, and what did the child feel?Yukie Ueda, whose own son, Tora, also participated, will report on the atmosphere of the day.

Photo & Text: Yukie Ueda

October feels the change of seasons in the cold air.Many children gathered in Obuse, Nagano Prefecture, under the clear autumn sky.On this day, the Tenkaichi Tobi Budokai was held at Obuse Quest.It is a legendary tournament event that has been held for many years by the side-riding pro shop "Cocopalm" in Suwa, Nagano.Coco Palm, which has been working hard to revitalize the local snowboarding scene while also revitalizing the kids scene, has revived the Tenkaichi Budokai for adults as a tournament for kids.

The Tenka Ippei Budokai is a legendary one-make tournament that has been going on for 16 years.This tournament was the first time it was held exclusively for kids.
Coco Palm boss Sergeant Takeda (right) and President Mimatsu of SUR (left)
All the snowboard makers who rushed to liven up this tournament

Many people had gathered at the venue from the morning.Snowboard manufacturers and riders preparing their booths.And there was a figure that the parents of participating children acted as management staff. This tournament, which is called a “participant-run event,” aims to give children a first-hand experience of what a “tournament” is.The story envisions how children will have a moving experience that will move their hearts, and when they grow up in the future, they will be able to raise kids in the same way and hold competitions and events.

Reception girls including parents
Coco palm riders of all ages
Opening remarks from Coco Palm's boss, Sergeant Takeda.The children listen with a nervous look on their faces.
It seems that everyone's facial expressions have softened a little due to the annual radio calisthenics

Most of the participants are local kids who usually go to Obuse Quest.However, the children's expressions look different than usual.Among the contestants this time, many of them are first-timers of the tournament, who decided to participate in the competition after the boss said, "This is also a recital for everyone who is practicing all the time." Each person must be feeling a different emotion than just the “always feeling the joy”.

The girls also showed such relaxed expressions
Just before his turn, he seems impatient to wait for the start and is full of motivation.
Quest Academy coaches serve as qualifying judges

The players who challenge the beginner class are mainly from kindergarteners to lower elementary school students.Her small body and eyes full of tension were irresistibly cute.

Even such a small kid can be a splendid player if he stands on the starting platform
Are you imagining the tricks you're about to unleash, or are you fighting with tension?Kids looking ahead
Papas also support the players as volunteers

The tournament is divided into 3 classes, beginner, open, and special, and the preliminary rounds are steadily being held.Players who land well and win will advance to the final.What lies ahead is the tournament-style final, which is the highlight of the tournament.

Kou-chan, who started attending Obuse Quest for the first time this summer, also participated in the beginner class for the first time.
The judges who will decide the finalists.Scoring while earnestly discussing

This is where 17-year-old Rikuto Watanabe, our guest rider, appeared. Rikuto, a slopestyle rider who won the world championship at the 2020 Junior World Championships, brilliantly performs tricks with a high degree of difficulty that exceeds everyone's imagination.A child who is taken aback, a child who cheers.Before the final stage, Rikuto gave the children a strong stimulus.

Kids are glued to Rikuto's tricks
Raising Kobushi to children with sparkling eyes

The judges for the final round were all the cooperating manufacturers.Among them, professional rider Takafumi Konishi is also included.It would have been a considerable amount of pressure to raise the flag of victory or defeat while the players stared as if they were clinging.

Makers and Konitan who devote themselves to being fair judges while under pressure

A child who usually fails with tension even though he stands up.He was a child who was able to do his best to practice.A child who is pushed by the opponent's spirit, a child who conversely involves the opponent in his own air.

The child who kept himself and was able to exert his power won the two characters of victory.

Kio the winner
Girls Rider, Juri
Show off your tiger

The scene was filled with excitement, with tears and cheers mingling.The appearance of being overjoyed, the appearance of being frustrated and crying.There was drama.The children were pouring out their emotions, and it seemed that each other felt them.

Call out to a child who is crying tears of frustration and give praise to other children who are also contestants
Hold each other's shoulders and pray for your victory while waiting for the judge
The moment the winner was decided, a loud cheer erupted.
Immediately after the winner of the open class is decided, they praise each other with a good touch
Rindt, who won the special class victory, makes a fist pump.

The awards ceremony was attended not only by the children who participated in the competition, but also by those who participated in the "Yuboro-kai" that was being held on the same day and their parents.And skateboarder Yuji Nagahara appeared as a guest here.The feat of X-GAMES, which was held for the first time in Japan in April this year, will be fresh in everyone's memory.

Different categories but same sideways riding. "There will be hard times, but if you overcome them, there will be lots of fun things waiting for you, so please do your best without losing out."

Children listening intently to a passionate message from Euro
Euro (left) and Ricto (right) gave children dreams and hopes

The winning children were awarded with special trophies made of scrapers and cash prizes.The winning child's face was really happy, and I could sense that various thoughts were also blurred in the expressions of the children who stared at it.

<Beginner Class> Winner: Minato Sato (8 years old, 3rd grade) 2nd Place: Nijisei Morozumi (9 years old, 3rd grade) 3rd Place: Ryui Yamada (6 years old, senior)
<Open class> Winner: Teruo Kimoto (11 years old, 5th grade) 2nd place: Tristem (12 years old, 6th grade) 3rd place: Nina Arakawa (11 years old, 5th grade)
<Special class> Winner: Rindai Mikuni (14 years old, 2nd grade) 2nd place: Godai Yokozawa (14 years old, 2nd grade) 3rd place: Yoshikazu Sekine (11 years old, 6th grade)
Prizes will also be awarded to the winners of each class.Boss with a happy smile behind

"It is important to give children a moving experience and how they feel. No matter what the result is, I want to bring out the desire to overcome barriers and reach their goals," said Coco Palm's boss at the end. The message he sent to the children must have touched the hearts of many who were here that day.

Closing message from Boss.It should have reached everyone in the venue, not just the children.

“There are winners and losers today.I think the person who lost felt frustrated.But this frustration becomes the best spring to become stronger.I think that you will have various experiences after becoming an adult, but please remember the feelings you felt today and connect today's results to the next.I think everyone is the winner today, whether they win or lose.” (Sergeant Takeda)

Children, adults, and coaches, all locals of Obuse Quest united and praised each other.It was not just about running the tournament that everyone took the lead in cooperating with, but also talking to friends who fell and dropped their shoulders and sharing their joy.I think the sense of unity was contagious here.

In recent years, the growth of children aiming to become athletes has been remarkable, and I feel that there is something tense in the competition scene, including parents.It seems that checking your position in comparison with others is a priority.Rather than that, by praising each other and fighting while acknowledging each other, I think that greater confidence and motivation will spring up.I can't wait to see what kind of world the children of this day will create in the near future, who fought fair and square and cried from the bottom of their hearts and overflowed with joy.

The children who were crying with frustration are all smiling at the end.It was a wonderful tournament that witnessed the bond of the region, the bond of the local.

Check out the video of the day!