Japanese artist Katori donates EUR 100,000 to the IPC to create internship programme

The new IPC athlete internship programme aims to help Para athletes make the transition from an athletic career to a professional career 11 Apr 2023
Seven people pose for a photograph in front of an artwork.
Katori, center, served as IPC's special ambassador for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
ⒸThe Nippon Foundation Parasports Support Center

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has received a donation of EUR 100,000 from Japanese musician and artist Shingo Katori to fund the IPC’s first Para athlete internship programme. The IPC special ambassador for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and Para sport advocate raised the funds through the “Shingo Katori NFT Art Charity Project”.

The new IPC athlete internship programme aims to provide paid internship opportunities at the IPC for Para athletes to help them make the transition from an athletic career to a professional career and to develop their business acumen and knowledge. It is hoped the programme will start in late 2023.

Katori found fame in the 1990s and 2000s as a member of an iconic J-Pop group who were one of the biggest selling boybands in the history of Asian music. In addition to singing, Katori is also a celebrated artist, creating and engaging in various artwork and projects. This includes a mural on the entrance wall of the Nippon Foundation Parasports Support Center (NFPSC), which Katori created in 2015 under the theme “i enjoy!”.

Katori subsequently developed the mural as a work of art sold in the form of a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) for the “Shingo Katori NFT Art Charity Project”, which started in September 2021. At the end of the project, 10,000 limited edition NFTs were sold out for 3,900 Japanese yen each, and a total of 39 million yen was donated to NFPSC, which Katori supports.

Of the JPY 39 million, JPY 24 million was used to support the promotion of Para sports by 24 summer and winter Paralympic national sports federations in Japan. The remaining JPY 15 million (approximately EUR 100,000) is now being donated to the IPC through NFPSC.

Katori said: “The excitement of Tokyo 2020 should not end as a one-time event. I wanted to show my gratitude to the Para sports community in a tangible way and these funds help ensure that athletes can be supported both on and off the field of play. I am excited to support the creation of the IPC’s Para athlete internship programme.”

Mike Peters, IPC CEO, added: “The IPC is incredibly grateful to Shingo for this generous donation. When Shingo talks about his support of Para sport, he is very clearly speaking from his heart. The IPC is committed to helping athletes become the leaders of tomorrow, athletes, and this donation ensures that we can help athletes gain important experience and develop their professional skills.

“The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games were remarkable in many ways, including the permanent legacy provided through changing attitudes towards persons with disabilities in Japan and the practical initiatives like 100 per cent of the Tokyo metro system being made accessible. This was a direct result of the Paralympic Games; it is change starting with sport. We love how Shingo’s creativity continues to support the Paralympic Movement and that this will benefit athletes for many years to come.”