November 19 - Belgium's six-time world champion Ingrid Berghmans is to be involved in a new Gender Equity Commission set up by the International Judo Federation (IJF), it was announced today.
The 52-year-old from Koersel was the dominant judoka in the 1980s, winning two world titles in the under-72 kilogram category and four in the open division.
But she was denied the opportunity to challenge for an Olympic medal because women were not allowed to compete in the Games until Barcelona 1992 when her career was over, something which would appear to make her uniquely qualified for this new role which it is hoped will ensure equal access to the sport for men and women, without any kind of discrimination.
She will play a prominent role on a Commission that also includes Estony Hattingh, President of the Botswana Judo Federation and African Judo Union communications director, Britain's Lisa Allan, the competition manager at London 2012 who now fulfils the same role at the IJF, and Jacqueline de Quattro, Minister of Defence and Environment of the Canton de Vaux, Switzerland's most populous Canton which includes the Olympic capital Lausanne.
De Quattro is third dan judoka herself and been involved in other IJF projects, including a camp earlier this year in Fiesch when more than 200 countries from 30 youngsters were given a master-class by several top competitors.
The Commission is completed by Jean-Luc Rouge, general secretary of the IJF and former world champion in the under-93kg divison.
Hattingh is also to a member of the new Development Commission set-up by the IJF and will serve alongside Mikhail Cherkasov, vice-president of the Russian Judo Federation.
The Commission will also include Eduard Doandes, former President of the Romanian Judo Federation, Nicolas Messner, the IJF media and communications director and member of the IJF Judo for Peace Commission, Michel Huet, assistant to the IJF general secretary, and Larisa Kiss, director of the IJF Presidential Office in Budapest.
The Developement Commission will particularly be in charge of coordinating the IJF development activities around the world.
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