Mission Blue is proud to partner with earthlysoul – a Japanese nonprofit organization working to contribute to society through various sports activities and challenges centered on the ocean. With strength from perseverance, earthlysoul aims to foster awareness about the ocean and inspire people to provide a better environment for future generations by challenging themselves physically and mentally.
Earthlysoul founder Kazuya Suzuki says:
“By personally… challenging myself and placing myself in situations where I am constantly facing death (as an ocean athlete), I started to think more and more about what I could leave behind when I would no longer be around. This thought led me to have a strong desire to leave a better world for the future generations to come – and thus earthlysoul was born in 2009. Children will mimic the adults around them; thus it is our duty to create an era and environment where they can prosper and bloom, and most importantly – have fun and enjoy life. It is necessary for us to constantly be adjusting to the ever changing world around us, to continuously be challenging ourselves, to never be completely satisfied with the present – and step by step we will be able to create a better environment, one we can be proud to leave for the future generations to come.”
One of Kazuya Suzuki’s favorite quotes is by the founder of Panasonic, Konosuke Matsushita, which reflects the message Kazuya would like to spread through earthlysoul: “Most things which are labeled failures instead of successes are simply the result of limiting oneself by giving up. One must persevere until the very end.”
Through sports and challenges centered on the ocean, earthlysoul has three goals:
Earthlysoul’s classes and events invite children and community members to become more familiar with the ocean while challenging themselves. Its Ocean Experience Classes help children grow by having them take part in activities that expand their knowledge and appreciation of the ocean. Earthlysoul seeks to educate younger generations so they will be able to take their experiences and grow into adults who appreciate and understand the importance of environmental conservation.
Earthlysoul’s monthly Beach Cleaning Events gather members of the community to pick up garbage, help spread awareness about the importance of ocean conservation and restore seaside coastlines to their natural beauty. Earthlysoul’s local community partnership with the Chigasaki Surf Lifesaving Club further emphasizes the importance of safety and observation for kids when interacting with the ocean. Furthermore, the organization’s annual Japan Revitalization project supports and celebrates the Ocean Opening event in Kessennuma Oshima, which was affected by the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake. With ‘Revitalization of the Human Spirit’ as earthlysoul’s ongoing motto, they aim to bring back smiles and laughter to the children of Tohoku by providing various ocean activities for the children of the region.
Earthlysoul’s “Challenge Yourself” Ocean Crossing Events involve crossing the 60-km stretch of ocean between Izu Oshima Island and Chigasaki, Shonan Mainland. Athletes cross via various means including swimming, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), and paddling OC1 outrigger canoes. Earthlysoul organizes these challenges to enable athletes to explore the strength and limitless potential of the human spirit, and to help inspire – from young to old – the importance of taking on a challenge and never giving up.
Other sponsored activities include an upcoming Cross Border Ocean Crossing via Hawaiian Sailing Canoe from Yonaguni, Okinawa (the Southern most island in Japan) to Taiwan, as well as monthly charity swimming lessons.
Kazuya strongly believes that “A battle is only over when one gives up,” and this spirit of “never giving up” will continue to guide the mission and vision of earthlysoul.
Learn more on the earthlysoul website: http://www.uruc.jp/earthlysoul/en/
All images © earthlysoul