Jean-Luc Rouge elected new IJF Secretary General.

Jean Luc Rouge elected new IJF Secretary General.

At 10:00 am this morning. Mr. Marius L. Vizer, the IJF President, opened the IJF congress in front of all the national federation representatives.

After welcoming all the delegates and special guests, he gave the floor to Mr. Haruki Uemura, the President of All Japan Judo Federation, who addressed to the audience a warm and emotional speech to thank the International Judo Federation and the national federations, which helped Japan after the terrible catastrophe that hit the country several months ago. To help the reconstruction, the IJF and its Executive Committee has decided, yesterday during the Executive Committee meeting, to donate US$ 200,000 to the Japanese Judo Federation.

We still have Work to do

Mr. Vizer then took back the floor to put forward his official report, which presented the last two years of activity, since the last congress that was held in Rotterdam in 2009. “A huge effort has been made to develop the sport dimension of judo. We have created a World Judo Tour and a World Ranking List. Judo is much more understandable.

It already attracts the media and the sponsors and it will be even more the case in the upcoming years” underlined the IJF President, before adding that the education dimension of our sport was never forgotten in all our activities. Within two years, judo has acquired a better visibility, and the media value of judo has spectacularly improved.

“But we must do more, we still have many aspects to develop, work to do and that will be the objective for the next two years”, said Mr. Vizer. “Consolidation of all that was created until today, and in the period after the London Games and until Rio Games, to make the quality of our sport to continuously increase and to act as a united judo family, including all the national federations and continental unions, under the leadership of the International Judo Federation, is our goal” concluded the IJF President.

Before giving the floor to the other EC members to produce their reports, Mr. Vizer, asked to all the present federations to continue to work hard for the development of judo around the world, and in the upcoming years, the IJF will make a huge effort to help the little and medium countries in a cooperative and mutual understanding way.

New IJF Ambassadors

Mr. Vasily Anissimov, Mr. Bogdan Buzaianu, Mr. Ilie Nastase, Mr. Robert van de Walle already were and are the IJF Ambassadors. Today, two new Ambassadors were announced to all the national federations: Sheikha Maitha Bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is regularly present during IJF events and Mr. René Jaggi, who has already proven how much he likes our discipline.

Emotional Transition for Mr. Dhouib

It has been 18 years that Mr. Hedi Dhouib was dedicating his life to the General Secretariat of the IJF. As he mentioned during his report: “times have not always been easy, but it has been a real pleasure to serve international judo during so many years.

I am so happy to be a member of the Judo Family and I am so proud that I have contributed to the expansion of judo, particularly, during the past years under the presidency of Mr. Vizer”. Later on, during the Congress, Mr. Jean-Luc Rougé who has just been elected as the new General Secretary, emphasized the very good work that was done under Mr. Dhouib’s control.

Mr. Dhouib received, from Mr. Vizer’s hands, the IJF gold medal for all his years of dedication to judo.

Structural development

“I have a mission” said Jean-Luc Rougé, right after his election, before adding that “after several years of strong development, we must now secure the overall IJF structure and modernize the way it works”. “Sport has been a priority, and it is still the case, but we must now get focussed on the administrative development. That will be my duty with President Vizer and his team”.

Mr. Jean-Luc Rougé, World Champion and President of the French Judo Federation since 2005, will put all his energy and experience for the development of the IJF and the smooth transition between Mr. Dhouib and Mr. Rougé, is a perfect illustration of the way the IJF is going forward.

After Mr. Rougé’s election, Mr. Dhouib was reelected member of the IJF board with special missions to help the President and the new Secretary General.

Good Financial Health

Mr. Naser Al Tamimi, who was reelected as the IJF General Treasurer earlier during the Congress, presented the financial situation of the International Judo Federation. “We have invested a lot to have a better marketing and better sponsorship and we have invested in the right area” said Mr. Al Tamimi.

“Thank you to the IJF President and all the EC members, the face of our federation has changed”. The General Treasurer particularly thanked all the national federations, which organize all year long the World Judo Tour events. “The IJF is working as a team in a very professional way and this led the IJF to be able to present a very healthy financial situation” concluded Mr. Al Tamimi.

4,000 athletes in the World Ranking List

When the new competition system was implemented, after Mr. Vizer’s election in 2007, the dream was to count 2,000 competitors in the World Ranking List after 4 years. Today, nearly 4,000 athletes have points and therefore are included in the World Ranking List. It is a huge success. The online database, created by the IJF IT team, is now available for all national federations and it will help them a lot in order to prepare the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Mr. Vladimir Barta, the IJF Head Sport Director, could be happy with the outstanding evolution of the sports department during the last four years. “If the Olympic Games would take place next week, 113 countries would be qualified” said Mr. Barta. During his report, he mentioned the great success of last year first edition of the Youth Olympic Games and specially mentioned the team event before making a wish “we want to see a team event on the occasion of the Olympic Games, Rio 2016”.

New evolution after London 2012

Mr. Juan Carlos Barcos, during the refereeing presentation, explained that judo has evolved a lot during the last four years. “We are back to the roots of judo and that is fantastic for the quality, for the performance and for the show” said Mr. Barcos. The IJF is now studying new evolutions, but nothing will change before the London Olympic Games and all new changes will be made in coordination with all the judo experts around the world. Only the color of the first called athlete on the tatami has recently changed, the first called competitor having to wear the white judge.

Education, an objective for the IJF

As Mr. Vizer mentioned during his report, Education is the key point of our sport. That was totally confirmed by the Education Director, Mr. Mohamed Meridja, who explained to the assembly the incredible efforts made by the organization to promote education. During the last period, 35 technical training sessions for coaches were organized around the world, 21 studying helping programs and 5 programs for the development of the local structure were also implemented.

On the other hand, 92 athletes were helped and still are to prepare the London Games, next year. That represents an increase of 91% compared to the previous period.

In the same time, 3 World Kata Championships have been organized and a new competition statistic system has been implemented. During all competitions, the judogi control takes place and the number of infringements diminishes one event after the other, assuring a fair competition for all the athletes.

The congress is also the place where all the continental unions can present their report, which was again the case, here in Paris. After the presentation of Africa, Asia, Europe, Pan-America and Oceania, the judo for Peace commission also presented the impressive work that has been conducted for the last two years in 15 countries.

Before the end of the 2011 edition of the congress, presentations from the two companies, CardiPlus and CryptoMobile, were made and distinctions were given to important personalities who played and are still playing an important role inside the judo family.

List of Awards

IJF Gold medal to Dr. Hedi Dhouib

Special IJF Awards

African Judo Union

El Arabi El Jamali (Morocco)

Joseph Mounawah (Mauritius)

Stephan Soi (Kenya)

Raymon Koulibaly (Mali)

Judo Union of Asia

His Excellency Mohammed Ben Thaaloub (UAE)

Sheikh Kalifa Al Sabah (Kuwait)

Jung Huang Kim (Korea)

Takao Kawaguchi (Japan)

Jagdish Tytler (India)

Wei-Chen Lu (Chinese Tapei)

Islam Karimov (Uzbekistan)

Beket Makhmutov (Kazakhstan)

Oceanian Judo Union

Pert Herrmann (Australia)

John Deacon (Australia)

Alan Broadhead (Australia)

European Judo Union

Michel Brousse (France)

Christer Dalstrom (Sweden)

After a full day of congress, the IJF President thanked all the delegates for attending the meeting, and invited them to join, on sunday, first for the visit of the olympic games facilities, in London, and then for the outstanding gala that will be given in the evening on the occasion of the 60th birthday of the IJF.

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