IMABARI, June 12 – Female members of JA Ochiimabari, an agricultural cooperative in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, appeared at a soccer game on June 10 as escorts for local soccer team FC Imabari, the first such attempt by the farm coop which sponsors the team.
Twenty-two women walked into Arigato Service Yume Stadium in Imabari packed with more than 2,000 fans, each holding hands with 11 FC Imabari players and holding local products in season, such as tomatoes and eggplants, on the other hand.
They hope that promoting local agricultural products while supporting the local soccer team of the Japan Football League will contribute to boosting the town.
“It was like walking on a cloud, but I’m happy that I could promote local agricultural products,” said a 66-year-old woman who served as an escort.
The JA Ochiimabari group, which sponsored the match held against another JFL team MIO Biwako Shiga, provided free offer of a can of locally-produced tangerine juice to the first 1,000 people who came to the stadium. A unique refreshment stand was also set up, featuring a faucet where people can serve themselves the juice of local specialty citrus fruit Seto no Harehime.
Female members of JA Ochiimabari, an agricultural cooperative in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, serve as escorts to players of local soccer team FC Imabari at Arigato Service Yume Stadium in the town on June 10.