【No.61】J Camp 20+1 year anniversary – Messages from Coaches (20+1周年にあたって、海外講師の皆さんからのメッセージ)

Twenty years… Has it really been that long 🙂
I am so proud of my involvement with “J” Camp and the Japanese Adaptive Sport community. I have been able to see how J Camp has not only transformed the lives of the athletes who have attended, but how it impacted the community. Those original ripples that were created 20 years ago are still flowing today as a culture was created and standards established. I am proud of that and like to think that I played a small part in the growth of wheelchair basketball and adaptive sport throughout Japan.  

Dan Ferreira

Proud J Camp Coach


Dan Ferreira (ダン)



Dear J-Campers, staff, and coaches,


It is crazy to think that it has been seven years since being in Japan working hard and sweating on the basketball court with you. A lot can happen in that time and I’m sure each of you have had incredible new adventures within and outside of wheelchair basketball. I reminisce on my experiences with each of you on a regular basis, and still share the story of me trying to announce Ryo for an award and couldn’t pronounce his name correctly so everyone sat in absolute silence until Hiro took the microphone and announced the award on my behalf. It was a bit embarrassing at the time but is a great memory of the many times I was able to see smiles on J campers’ faces. I still cherish that I was nicknamed “Fun Jake”. There are so many things that we often get caught up in life and sport that we forget to have fun and just enjoy life. That is something that I hope each of you have taken a moment from time to time to just have fun and pass that happiness on to those around you.

日本で皆さんと一緒にコートで汗をかきながらハッスルしていたあの時からもう7年が経ったなんて信じられません。その間、たくさんの出来事があったと思いますし、車いすバスケにおいてでもそうでなくても、皆さんそれぞれが新しい経験をしてきたと思います。私は今でもよく皆さんとの思い出を振り返っています。その中で特に覚えていて周りの人によく話すことがあります。賞の発表をするときにリョウの名前を正しく発音できなくて、皆が静まり返ってしまい、ヒロがマイクを取って代わりに発表してくれたことです。当時は少し恥ずかしかったけど、Jキャンパーの笑顔が見られた数多い思い出の中の1つです。皆さんから”Fun Jake”というあだ名をつけてもらったことも良い思い出です。私たちは人生やスポーツにおいて色々なことに気を取られてしまい、ただ楽しんだり、人生を謳歌することを忘れてしまうことがあります。皆さん一人ひとりが時々立ち止まってただ楽しんだり、そのハッピーな気持ちを周りの人と共有してくれていたら嬉しいです。

I moved back home after college and started up a local wheelchair basketball program since the closest program for any adaptive sport was over 2 hours away. Leading up to COVID we were having practices on a weekly basis and held annual community events as well as 3 on 3 fundraiser tournaments with our regional universities. I have been pushing more and more colleges to start their own adaptive sports program including James Madison University (JMU), University of Virginia (UVA), Roanoke College, and Virginia Tech (VT). JMU has purchased 12 program chairs and hosts weekly open court practices for all students regardless of disability. UVA and VT, where I have helped the most in starting a collegiate wheelchair tennis program, both have one full-time student and are seeking one more student with a disability to fully establish their program. 

私は大学を卒業してから故郷に帰ったのですが、一番近い障がい者スポーツプログラムは2時間以上離れたところにあったため、地元に車いすバスケのプログラムを立ち上げました。コロナになるまでは毎週練習をしていて、地域イベントも毎年開催したり、募金活動の一環で近隣の大学と一緒に3 on 3の大会をやっていました。ジェームズ・マディソン大学 (JMU)、バージニア大学 (UVA)、ロアノークカレッジ、バージニア工科大学 (VT)など、より多くの大学が独自の障がい者スポーツプログラムを始めるよう推奨もしてきました。JMUはバスケ車を12台購入して障がいの有無にかかわらず参加できるような機会を全学生を対象に毎週提供しています。UVAとVTは特に私が時間をかけて車いすテニスプログラムの立ち上げのサポートをしたところですが、各校とも一人の学生が参画中で、活動を軌道に乗せるためにもう一人参画してくれる障害を持つ学生を探しているところです。

I have recently moved up to Maryland to be closer to my girlfriend and new job at an adaptive sports non-profit called Move United where I get to work with a variety adaptive sports. My girlfriend and I are helping the University of Maryland begin the framework for establishing their own collegiate wheelchair tennis program as well. I help coach wheelchair and adaptive tennis at JTCC training the next generation of players, as well as some older athletes who are just acquiring their disability. I am working closely with many leaders of adaptive sports to help shape the athletic pipeline for athletes and coaches, integrating collegiate sports, and provide better access to sports as a whole. 

I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to visit with many of you during the Tokyo Paralympics due to travel restrictions, but I will certainly make the trip again in the future. I am even working on my Japanese through some language apps so that hopefully I can pronounce Ryo’s name perfectly upon my next visit.

I wish each and every one of you the best in whatever life holds. Keep working hard to better yourself and those around you on and off the court, but don’t forget to remember to always have fun.

Best wishes,

‘Fun’ Jake

最近はガールフレンドがいるメリーランド州に引っ越して、Move Unitedという障がい者スポーツを促進している非営利団体で新しい仕事を始め、様々な障がい者スポーツに関わっています。今は彼女と一緒に、メリーランド大学での車いすテニスプログラムを立ち上げる手伝いをしています。JTCC (Junior Tennis Champions Center)でも車いすテニスとアダプティブテニスのコーチングを手伝ったりして、次世代だけでなく最近障がいを持ったもう少し上の世代の選手たちのサポートをしています。障がい者スポーツにおけるリーダーと連携して、選手やコーチのパイプ強化、大学スポーツへの統合、スポーツ全体をより身近に感じてもらえるような取り組みをしています。



‘Fun’ Jake (“ファン”ジェイク)


The proof in the success of J camp and the development of players and coaches over the last twenty years was seen on the court at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Well done establishing an amazing camp. Here’s to another 20 years!!
Janna Mizens


Janna Mizens (ジャナ)


My name is Matt Buchi and I was fortunate enough to help coach at several J-Camps over the years. J-Camp and the country of Japan will always have a place in my heart because of the time I spent with the campers and staff. Wheelchair Basketball has changed my life by giving me the opportunity to get a college education and travel the world. It was always so exciting for me to travel to Japan and though we do not share the same language, basketball was our common language and we got to learn from each other.

I am currently starting my 10th season as Head Coach of the University of Illinois Men’s Wheelchair Basketball team. Everyday, I get the opportunity to work with individuals with disabilities to teach life lessons through basketball and help student-athletes achieve their academic, athletics and life goals.

Congratulations to J-Camp on their 20th anniversary! I wish everyone all the best and many more so I may return and see you all again. ありがとうございました





Buchi (ブッシー)


To past J Campers, thank you for your vision and hard work to ensure that this camp would continue for this long!  Thank you for welcoming me into the J Camp so kindly and warmly 😊 I hope you have continued your love for wheelchair basketball in some way, whether it’s playing, coaching, officiating, or administrating.  Your impact on the sport in Japan goes beyond just the camp!

Currently, I’m the head coach for women’s wheelchair basketball at Illinois.  Each day, I get to coach 11 amazing young women who are learning who they are as women, students, and basketball players.  I hope the time they spend with me and in our program helps them to realize that they bring value to our world and they have the right to show up in this world as they are.  I hope I create an environment of belonging on the team, so that our student-athletes know that they can bring all of who they are here and our team is better because of that!  Through working with our student-athletes, I hope that we begin to change the way disabled women know their value and show up in the world!

Stephanie Wheeler



Stephanie Wheeler (ステフ)


Thank you J campers, staff and volunteers for the amazing memories and hospitality! What a privilege it has been to be a part of the legendary J camp. Its so fantastic to see so many J campers grow and excel whether it is in your clubs or on the national team. I continue to strive for more inclusive societies for persons with disabilities all over the world and to support wheelchair basketball players on their path. I hope I will get the chance to work with you again!

Best wishes,

Mina Mojtahedi


Mina Mojtahedi (ミナ)


Hi J Campers.

I hope this message finds you all doing well. It has been many years since I worked J camp but my experience left a lasting impression on me. I continue to coach youth in my home state of Wisconsin and look forward to every opportunity I have to share my knowledge.  Wheelchair Basketball is an amazing sport. If you work hard, learn and continue to improve basketball can provide many positive things for you.

Amy “Crow” Spangler



Amy “Crow” Spangler (エイミー)


Hello everyone!  I had such an amazing time teaching you and learning from you all at Jcamp.  The culture of wheelchair basketball is strong in Japan because of you and I know we are all focused on creating a more inclusive world for each person to live the best life they can. 

Steve Serio


Steve Serio (スティーブ)

(翻訳協力 河原あゆ)


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Jキャンプスタッフ、通訳・国際事業担当。 日本にて車椅子バスケ各種大会や車椅子バスケ、車椅子ラグビーなどのキャンプで通訳として活動したあと渡米。 イリノイ大学大学院でスポーツマネージメントを専攻しつつ、同大車椅子バスケ部のマネージャー、アシスタントコーチをつとめる。 2008年夏に卒業後、現在はカナダ・バンクーバーのBC Wheelchair Basketball Societyにてプログラムコーディネーターとして働く。 また、これまでも趣味としてプレーをしてきたが、障害が無くとも公式戦に出場ができるカナダでプレーヤーとして活動しはじめる。 2011年に行われたU25女子世界選手権大会には日本代表チームのACとして参加。