Women’s soccer club Hioki Seagulls FC in Kagoshima calls for crowdfunding support

PUBLISHED Dec 7, 2021

Members of Hioki Seagulls FC

The Hioki Seagulls FC, a women’s soccer club in Hioki, is currently calling for support on the crowdfunding site CAMPFIRE for running tournaments and touring national tournaments.

The club was founded in 2007. Currently, 28 junior high and high school girls from various parts of Kagoshima, mainly from Hioki City, are training with the club. In 2021, the team won three major tournaments in Kagoshima Prefecture: the Kagoshima U-15 and U-18 Soccer Championships and the Kagoshima U-15 Futsal Championship. The team also qualified for two national levels, finishing second in the Kyushu Soccer Championship and first in the Kyushu Futsal Championship.

While the team has been successful, it has also faced a shortage of players. Yuichiro Tokiyoshi, the head coach, said: “There are many girls who give up playing soccer when they move from elementary school to junior high school. Also, junior high schools in rural areas with few students do not have soccer clubs, and even if they do, girls are not allowed to join. Even if they want to play soccer, there are situations where they cannot.” Some parents travel two hours to take their children to the soccer club. Seeing this, Tokiyoshi decided to start a crowdfunding campaign to reduce the burden on the players and their parents.

The target is 500,000 yen, and the support amounts start at 1,000 yen. Depending on the amount donated, team stickers, team towels, original shoulder bags, or hoodies will be sent to the participants in February next year. The money raised will be allocated to cover the expenses for the venue and operation of the Hioki Seagulls Cup: Girls U-12 Tournament, as well as travel expenses, including accommodation and transportation, to the national tournaments to be held in Gifu and Mie prefectures.

Tokiyoshi added: “I would like to vitalize women’s soccer in Kagoshima and create an environment where players can dream of becoming a future Nadeshiko League star. We hope we can receive as much support as possible.”

The campaign will run until December 29.