World Rowing and the Japan Sport Council have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), joining forces to cooperate on an international joint research project on Virtual Sports and Indoor Rowing.

Virtual sports have developed remarkably in recent years, and grown into a very significant force effecting various components of society. These trends are transforming the world of sport, and the sporting community is now placing greater emphasis on cooperation with virtual sports and eSports.

Recently, the International Olympic Committee announced that the IOC Esports Commission will be studying the creation of Olympic Esports Games, following the success of the Olympic Esports Week earlier this year in Singapore – where Indoor Rowing was featured alongside the best of virtual sports across the globe.

In light of these developments, World Rowing and the JSC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to engage and promote international joint research related to the field of virtual sports. Probable areas of cooperation will include exchange programs and visits by representatives from both organizations; international joint research; presentation of case studies at international conferences, seminars and workshops; publication of article(s) and academic papers.

The signing ceremony was held in the presence of the JSC President and CEO Satoshi Ashidate, Vice-President Takeshi Kukidome, and World Rowing President Jean-Christophe Rolland, Executive Director Vincent Gaillard, and Council Member Masakuni Hosobuchi.

“We are excited to embark on this initiative with the Japan Sport Council. Indoor Rowing connects rowers from around the world virtually, fostering a diverse community of fitness and rowing enthusiasts, said World Rowing President Jean-Christophe Rolland. The different events hosted around the world, the development of digital platforms to connect these rowers and the gamification element add to the ever-growing community of Indoor Rowers. World Rowing is committed to playing a prominent role in this context, and a series of strategic initiatives are being developed to that effect. This partnership with the Japan Sport Council is fully embedded into that strategy and will contribute to unleashing the vast potential of Indoor Rowing.”

“I am very pleased to announce that this is the first time for the JSC to conclude an agreement for collaboration and cooperation with an International Sports Federation, added Satoshi Ashidate, JSC President and CEO. We are particularly excited about our international joint research project with World Rowing, which is highly regarded for its potential in virtual rowing to integrate the real and virtual worlds. Through the framework of this cooperative agreement, we expect to see significant results in the field of virtual sports by utilizing the resources possessed by both the JSC and World Rowing. We also hope to play a leading role in contributing to the promotion of sports and the development of a vibrant and diverse international society with this international joint research on virtual sports, and utilize and apply the results not only to improve areas of sport in high performance but also to improve life performance within society.”

About World Rowing

World Rowing is the governing body of the sport of rowing. It is empowered by its 159-member National Rowing Federations. World Rowing sets the rules and regulations for the practice of the sport in all its forms, including Elite, Para-Rowing, Coastal, Masters and Indoor Rowing. World Rowing oversees sanctioned events and provides advice and expertise for the organisation of rowing regattas. The Federation also works on coaching education and other matters relating to the sport and its development.

About the Japan Sport Council

Established in 2003, the Japan Sport Council is the national agency responsible for the promotion of sports in Japan. Japan High Performance Sport Center (HPSC) within the JSC consist of Japan Institute of Sports Sciences (JISS) and National Training Centers (NTC), and closely works with Japanese Olympic Committee and Japanese Paralympic Committee.

HPSC is a center established to contribute to the enhancement of high-performance sports for both Olympic and Paralympic sports at home and abroad by providing research, support and advanced scientific training environments, based on sports medicine, science and information possessed by JISS and NTC. We set forth the concept “from High Performance to Life Performance”, as it is important to widely deploy knowledge gained in the area of high performance to society.

For all media enquiries, please contact Brian Orsini, World Rowing Head of Communications and Media –