Former Olympic champion leads IJF seminar

Zambia, Mar 03, 2014: Belgium’s all-time great Robert van de Walle recently led an IJF Development Project at the Youth Olympic Development Centre in Lusaka, Zambia as he worked closely with delegates from National Judo Federations across southern Africa.

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The IJF Hall of Famer, who won gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, is also a sought after figure off the tatami after founding a resourcement Centre which uses the concepts of unity of the mind, body and skills to help participants develop awareness of the way their mental attitudes influence their behaviours, practises and social interactions.

The project included four modules on how to improve judo in different areas. The first and second modules focused on general understanding and how to lead a National Federation. The third module by Andrei Bondor, Chairman of the IJF Veterans Commission, was based on building a federation and becoming functional while the fourth module was presented by IJF Sports Director, Daniel Lascau which concentrated on the organisation of events.

Van de Walle collaborates with fellow IJF experts to develop his methods of achieving the sport and educational goals of the national judo federations with an emphasis on the values and ethos of judo as a sport which unites perfectly education and physical activity. The Belgian hero was joined by Alain Massart, a professor at the University of Coimbra in Portugal who has worked alongside him throughout his team-building formations and analysis of the sport.

The pilot project launched with 10 National Federations as Van de Walle called on his experience from a lifetime of applying his mind and body on the tatami to present the values and mentality required to develop leadership in an organisation.

The IJF delegation of Lascau, Van de Walle, Massart and Andrei Bondor, was joined by delegates from each Southern African Judo Federation, as well as the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport of Zambia, the honourable Christopher Mulenga and the ambassador from Japan, His Excellency Kiyoshi Koinuma.

Mulenga said: “Thank you to the International Judo Federation and all stakeholders that contributed to the successful hosting of this seminar for Southern Africa. Your commitment and dedication to sports development in this country and beyond, is highly commendable.”

Mr Lascau said: “This project, which is now a pilot project, we have to have the feedback from the federations, we have to analyse the seminar and this workshop and I can imagine that if we are successful here we are confident to go into different regions and really support and improve these.”

Ms. Estony Hattingh, President of the Southern African Judo Confederation and the Botswana Judo Federation, said: “We are very humbled that the President of the IJF has the confidence in us, Southern Africa, to launch this pilot project.” —- IJF

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