Sport for Tomorrow launched its short film detailing its work in Para-sport over the past seven years ©Getty Images

The Sport for Tomorrow (SFT) programme, an initiative created by the Japanese Government, has launched a short film showing projects created to improve inclusion in society through Para-sport, coinciding with the opening day of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Commissioned by the Japan Sports Agency and produced by the Sport for Tomorrow Consortium, the release promotes the Paralympic Movement and human rights for disabled people.

Japanese Paralympian Atsushi Yamamoto, a two-times silver medallist in long jump, is the focus of the film, which shows the stories of future Para-athletes supported by SFT projects in developing countries, aiming to participate at Tokyo 2020.

Ken Kahu of Vanuatu became the first Pacific Para-athlete through the programme to qualify on merit, thanks to support from the SFT Expansion of Paralympic Participants project implemented by Nippon Sports and Science University.

"When I began training, I quickly realised that I loved sport," said Kahu. 

"Sport has provided me with many good opportunities in life. It has changed my life."

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Vanuatu could not compete at the Games, but the Vanuatu Paralympic Committee (VPC) President Margaret Macfarlane still found positives from the project.

"The journey to Tokyo has given our Para-athletes and all those living in Vanuatu with an impairment a voice through the powerful platform of inclusive sport to bring about meaningful change," she said.

Bhutan is set to make its Paralympic debut at Tokyo 2020 and its first female athlete, Chimi Dema, was introduced to Para-sport through the programme.

The SFT film also features grassroots activities supported by the programme in schools and communities in developing countries and looks to change the way the world thinks about disability and diversity.

Others who praise the programme in the release include Amal Haza’a Ali Munassar, assistant secretary general of the Yemen Paralympic Committee.

The National Paralympic Committee of Zambia's work with the I'mPOSSIBLE education awareness programme in schools with the support of the Japanese Paralympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, also features.

Sport for Tomorrow was created by the Japanese Government to promote sport to 100 nations around the world between 2014 and 2020.