Birthday of judo founder Jigoro Kano

The 2013 World Judo Day, the third edition of the International Judo Federation’s (IJF) annual judo celebration, was observed around the world on Monday 28 October.

The World Judo Day is a worldwide movement to celebrate the sport, its core values such as respect, honour and perseverance as well its adoption as an education tool to empower societies. ‘Perseverance’ was the theme this year and judo enthusiasts around the world including everywhere from Austria, Albania, Cameroon, Croatia, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Latvia to Mongolia, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, USA and Venezuela took part in the World Judo Day.

Olympic champion and six-time world champion Teddy Riner was among the judo heroes who supported the 2013 World Judo Day.

Marius Vizer, IJF President, was present at an Olympic masterclass in Ljubljana, Slovenia (top picture) on Monday as the Slovenian Judo Federation celebrated World Judo Day following last week’s successful Junior World Championships in the capital city.

Slovenia’s London 2012 Olympic champion Urska Zolnir and European champion Rok Draksic were among the country’s leading internationals who shared their skills with the 350 children from the region before posing for pictures and signing autographs.

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In front of an audience including media from national TV and radio stations, Vizer said: “I am very proud to be here for the 2013 World Judo Day. I want to congratulate all the judoka here and your parents for supporting you and your life in judo.

“I congratulate judoka all around the world for their participation and respecting the values of judo which are observed on and off the tatami. I wish you all success in life and in judo.”

In Croatia, the World Judo Day was marked with a reception in the residence of the Croatian President, Mr. Ivo Josipovi? for the Croatian Judo Federation. Their delegation was led by the President, Mrs. Sanda and winners of the bronze team medal from the Junior World Championships.

In Britain, Councillor Ernest Gibson, the Mayor of South Tyneside, donned his judogi at South Shields Judo Club where internationals such as former European champion Sarah Clark started their careers while Kosovo’s first world champion in any sport, Majlinda Kelmendi, visited local clubs with her 2013 gold medal to inspire the next generation of budding judoka.

Kelmendi presented World Judo Day diplomas to the participants eight weeks after returning from the World Championships as a national hero and being greeted by 20,000 people in the city of Peja where she lives and trains.

The Mongolian Judo Association, which is one of the 200 member nations of the IJF, held a range of activities including a judo clinic with their first world champion Munkhbat Uransetseg who won gold this year in Rio. Uransetseg was joined by world silver medallist Amartuvshin Dashdavaa and the duo demonstrated their fantastic skills before signing pictures for their young fans.

Two new training venues were opened in Khan Uul District and Baganuur city about 150 km from the capital city of Ulaanbaatar while a group of University judo students climbed to the top of Bogd Khan mountain to wish the judo family a “HAPPY WORLD JUDO DAY!”.

In one of the most ambitious World Judo Day projects, Spanish judoka Francisco Olivenza organised a simultaneous judo event at 1400 Central European Time on Monday in Spain, Uruguay, Brazil and Senegal. Judo teachers from each country have established national social projects where judo is used as an education tool and they linked up for the first time on World Judo Day.

Francisco Olivenza said: “The objective of joint events was to show students that judo is a sport that unites us and that with perseverance you can get anything you intend.” —- IJF

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