LOOKING to cultivate physical fitness, inclusivity and a sense of community during this challenging time with the pandemic, the Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) has partnered with local sports personalities for the online video series #WeAreAthletes.

Launched this week, the online series features Radio Taiso — a popular Japanese morning exercise, and Athletes’ Stories — a 2-episode video series featuring Japanese and Filipino Olympic athletes and para athletes.

JFM said #WeAreAthletes is aimed at promoting physical fitness even at home, continuing the spirit of collaboration, and developing people’s concept of inclusivity and unity through community support.

For Radio Taiso, Filipino and Japanese talents from diverse backgrounds (athletes, teachers, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), frontliners, etc.) are featured.

Accompanied by music, the routine encourages everyone to stay in good condition while in a “work from home” or “remote learning” setup.

Athletes’ Stories, meanwhile, has athletes sharing their experience about their sports and their motivation as well as giving advice to aspiring athletes and conducting simple workout tutorials.

Featured athletes are 2012 London Olympic athlete Yokota Masato; Filipino marathoner Mary Joy Tabal, 2016 Rio Olympic athlete; Isidro Vildosola, 2012 London Paralympic athlete; and PADS Dragon Boat Team, the Philippines’ first cross-disability dragon boat racing team.

The #WeAreAthletes video series is for free and can be viewed on JFM’s official Facebook page (www.facebook.com/jfmanila).

Radio Taiso was first dropped on Wednesday, to be followed by the first episode of the Athletes’ Stories on Thursday, Dec. 3, incidentally the International Disability Awareness Day, and the second episode on Friday, Dec. 4.

JFM is the 18th overseas office of the Japan Foundation, whose mission is to promote international cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and other countries. The Manila office was founded in 1996 and is active in three focused areas, namely, Arts and Culture, Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange and Japanese-Language Education Overseas. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo