China, May 13, 2014: The International Judo Federation and the Chinese Judo Association launched the second part of the Judo Educational Journey through China Tuesday, 13 May to a great reception from officials and young judoka.
The opening ceremony took place at the Shunyi Sports School in the outskirt of 2008 Olympic Games host city Beijing.
The first edition of the Judo Journey was held in November 2013, immediately following the Qingdao Grand Prix and was a fantastic success as more than 4,000 young judoka met their country’s Olympic heroes and discovered the values of judo. Supported by the Chinese National Olympic Committee and in the framework of the upcoming Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, this second edition of the tour will visit Beijing, Guangzhou, Changsha, Wenzhou, Shanghai and will come to a fitting climax in Nanjing.
Several hundreds of children participated in the inaugural judo session. The audience enjoyed a judo clinic led by IJF experts and judo demonstrations presented by the Chinese champions and local judoka who were honoured to meet Xiuli Yang, Olympic Champion at the Beijing 2008 Games.
During the next two weeks, the IJF will be represented by Mohamed Meridja, IJF Education and Coaching Director, and by Nicolas Messner, IJF Media and Judo for Peace Director.
Mohamed Meridja declared: “On behalf of the IJF and its President, Marius Vizer, I am are very pleased to be here in China again for the second edition of the Judo Journey. We had an outstanding experience last year, and I am sure that once again we will meet the success throughout the country. thanks to the Chinese Judo Association, we could transform a dream into reality.”
Messner said: “We want to show that judo is fun, especially for the young generations and that through judo they can learn skills for life. In judo we can practice freely because we have the respect of the rules and of the philosophy of our sport. During the upcoming days, we will see thousands of happy faces, because judo is not only a sport, it is also a way of life.
The Chinese Judo Association was represented by its Secretary General and its vice President. During their opening speeches, both men declared: “Co-hosted by International Judo Federation and Chinese Judo Association, this event has received support from International Olympic Committee and Chinese Olympic Committee.
Aimed to highlight the educational and etiquette influence of judo on the occasion of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, this event will popularize judo to ordinary people, to schools and will be deeply rooted to the heart and mind of the mass, so as to promote and development judo in China.
“Under the leadership of the IJF experts, it will help us to lead judo clinics, conferences and interactions in terms of Judo culture, history, etiquette, social popularity, sport promotion, etc.
On behalf of Chinese Judo Association, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the International Judo Federation and its President, Marius Vizer, for the support to this Judo Educational Journey through China.
“We hope that the 2014 Educational Journey through China can achieve fruitful results, to attract more people to know judo, practice judo and to let judo benefit ordinary people, so as to make our own contributions to the development of sport and the progress of the society.”
The representative of the Shunyi Distric said: “It is a good opportunity for us to learn and communicate, to strengthen friendship, to further promote and popularize judo among youth, and to push forward overall sport development.”
The first concrete result was brought by Tong Wen, Olympic and World Champion, who participated to last year’s edition of the journey. She came from Tianjin to explain that after what she learned, she decided to dedicate her life to the children and to their education through judo. She is now opening a Judo school for juveniles and will promote the judo moral code throughout her activities. —- IJF