Unity has been selected as the theme for the fifth edition of World Judo Day, the IJF's annual celebration ©IJF

Unity has been chosen as the theme for the fifth edition of the International Judo Federation’s (IJF) World Judo Day, which is set to take place on October 28 and is dedicated to coaches, fans, judoka and everyone with a passion for the sport.

The annual event is held on the birthday of the sport’s founder Jigoro Kano, and sees a new theme selected each year, with unity following in the footsteps of honour, perseverance, judo for all and respect.

One of the key goals of the day is to showcase the sport’s values and to display that judo is an educational tool which can help people to live together and respect each other, while also aiming to encourage more people to participate and benefit from the sport.

“Dear judoka and judo lovers, with the occasion of World Judo Day, I ask all judoka and judo communities in the world to follow, defend and promote the Olympic spirit and values which are also the values of our sport,” said Marius Vizer, IJF Presdient, following the unveiling of this year’s theme.

“I ask for unity and solidarity and through the energy and spirit of judo to increase our community and build a better world.”

The IJF count 200 national federations and five continental unions as members, while they estimate more than 20 million people practice the sport throughout the world on a daily basis.

They are hopeful the fifth World Judo Day will prove as successful as the previous editions and anticipate that ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics, Brazil will be one of the most active countries throughout the course of the day, as they prepare to welcome the world’s top judokas next year.

The IJF hope the day will attract more young people to take up the sport throughout the world
The IJF hope the day will attract more young people to take up the sport throughout the world ©IJF

Bruna Nascimento, who trains under Portuguese Olympian Pedro Dias, explained how the previous World Judo Day played a key role in him taking up the sport, and he hopes other young athletes will benefit from the 2015 edition.

“The World Judo Day has a special role in my life because here we celebrated with a tournament and it was my first competition, which I repeated last year,” the 13-year-old said.

“This year I will be [involved] in the organisation, but always with the same commitment so other children can have as much fun as I did.

“Judo may be an individual sport, but the unity between us is what makes us stronger.”

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