Ueda, the chairman of the Tokyo government’s disabled sports council, began his career in university. A chance encounter, when asked to teach swimming to the disabled, changed his life.

“I was studying to be a P.E. teacher,” he said. I had joined the Japan Red Cross swimming lifeguard group. I joined that, and the group was entrusted with teaching swimming to the disabled. That was when I was in my second year, and I’ve been involved ever since.”

“I found physical education for the disabled more interesting than generic P.E. because I was teaching very responsive people. I was in charge of students with cerebral palsy, and if my lessons or my program were inadequate, the students wouldn’t return.”