Seed-planting classes are a regular part of the Japanese elementary school curriculum; and a total of around 40,000 flowers grown by the children will be used at venues during the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The aim of the project is to provide a warm and colourful welcome to spectators. Students will attach personal messages to the flowers, which spectators will be able to read while waiting to enter venues. During the Games, volunteers will take care of those flowers. It is currently planned to return them afterwards to the schools that grew them and/or to donate them to the volunteers and Games officials as a memento of their participation in the Games.
Tsuyoshi Iwashita, Executive Director of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee's Security Bureau, said: “When we talk about ‘security’ it tends to invoke rather a strict image, quite the opposite of ‘hospitality’, and so with this initiative we intend to project the hospitality that emanates from the hearts of children. When we talked to people who were elementary school students at the time of the Tokyo 1964 Games, we often heard they have vivid memories of that time. I believe that when children who participate in this project become adults, they will look back on their cultivation of these flowers with pride.”
In advance of the Games, the project will be trialled at two test events this summer: beach volleyball at Shiokaze Park from 24 to 28 July and sailing at Enoshima Yacht Harbour from 17 to 22 August.