KEIRIN is a publicly-managed gamble sport (referred simply as ‘Public Sports’ in Japan). Cyclists must learn several things to compete a fair race – the regulations of keirin to avoid cheating, the theory of keirin itself, code of conduct required to keirin cyclists, and the competition skills, etc.
Those who wish to be a keirin cyclist are trained for about a year at Japan Institute of KEIRIN, situated deep in the plateaus of Izu city, Shizuoka prefecture. It’s a fully accommodated institute and they go through a variety of curricula such as the practical courses or academic lectures. Let’s have a look at a part of their life as a trainee.
How to enter the institute
You must pass the examinations for the entrance.
There are ‘proficiency test’ for those who have the experiences in cycling sports, and ‘assessment test’ for the absolute beginners. ‘Proficiency test’ is aimed for the applicants who have the histories in cycling sports. Therefore, in this test, some practical tests are conducted such as measuring their lap time by bicycle, etc.
For the absolute beginners, the basic fitness such as vertical jump or back muscle strength are tested to judge their abilities. Because of this, it’s characteristic that athletes who have the histories in sports other than keirin, such as baseball players, speed skaters, or volleyball players, often come to the institute to change their professional careers.
In addition, ‘Special Admission’ is prepared for the applicants who hold the world-class records in the field of sports. So far, the athletes like Daichi Hara (a mogul skiing bronze medalist for the PeyongChang Olympics/117th generation), or Kazushige Kuboki (who competed in the middle-to-long distance events for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and other world championships/119th generation), are two of those who have entered the institute by this means.
People in a wide range of age groups from 18-year-olds or high-school graduates to business people in their 30’s, come to the institute to become a candidate.