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For the first time in history, Japan is preparing to host the World Garbage Picking Championships. Accordingly, by picking up the most trash on the streets of Tokyo in an hour, that team will win the tournament championship, according to SCMP.
Called the “SpoGomi World Cup”, the tournament’s qualifying rounds have begun to be held around the world to select a national champion team. These teams will be participating in the final round that will start in November this year in Japan, with the participation of a total of 20 teams from different countries.
The strangest sport
“SpoGomi”, a combination of the words “sport” (Sport) and “gomi” (Japanese for trash), was first introduced in Japan in 2008 as a contest to encourage people clean up public spaces.
According to the rules of the tournament, each team has three players to compete. They have 60 minutes to collect trash in a designated area. The real challenge, however, lies in classifying waste correctly into the types of trash bags, such as inflammable bags, recyclable plastic bottles, metal cans and others.
When the time is up, the amount of garbage picked up will be weighed. The team that collects the most trash will be awarded trophies and medals. In the event of a tie, extra stats will be taken into account, based on the type of trash picked up.
Referees will oversee the course of the game, where players are also prohibited from taking rubbish or belongings from privately owned housing, or trash on tracks and motorways.
Takayasu Udagawa, who is overseeing planning for the tournament organized by the Nippon Foundation, said previous SpoGomi events have been held on beaches, waterfronts and parks.
“We haven’t made a final decision on the venue for the finals yet, but we expect it to be on the street somewhere in the city centre,” Mr. Udagawa said.
“We believe it’s important to collect trash in cities, as the amount of trash in the oceans around the world has increased dramatically. So it’s best if we can collect it before it gets worse. dumped into the ocean, which is very difficult to clean up and clean up,” he said.
According to SCMP, garbage picking is becoming more and more popular in Japan. Especially in schools in the East Asian country, this ‘sport’ is becoming part of the curriculum as Japanese students learn about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Notably, an animated film (Anime) called SpoGomi: World Cup Exhibition Match Arc was also made to promote the event to students. SpoGomi: World Cup Exhibition Match Arc is set in the near future, when scavenging has become as popular around the world as football. The players who compete in scavenging are also considered famous superstars.
Fast Retailing Co, which runs the Uniqlo clothing retail chain, is supporting the tournament and announced it will sponsor $2 million.
It is estimated that around 100 SpoGomi competitions are held across Japan every year. The emergence of a world-class tournament will encourage the development of scavenging in other countries.
It is known that Asian countries, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines will host the qualifying round of SpoGomi. In other continents, countries such as the US, Canada, South Africa and Egypt will also send teams to compete in the finals.
Refer to SCMP
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