The European Judo Union and Ippon Gear have extended their deal ©Ippon Gear

The European Judo Union (EJU) has extended its agreement with the sport's clothing supplier Ippon Gear, which will become a premium partner.

Both organisations have signed a one-year extension to their existing equipment-provider deal.

Ippon Gear is the first company to continue its cooperation with the EJU amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"The contract extension should be a positive signal for our other partners to respond to this pandemic and to overcome this challenge," the EJU said.

"Only with strong partners we are able to contribute to the rebirth of our sport and to support clubs and national federations along the way.

"We are proud to have such a great and motivated partner on our side and we are looking forward for the future."

In July, Ippon Gear teamed up with the International Judo Federation (IJF) to launch a range of facemasks.

For every mask sold, the company pledged to donate another to a country in need where IJF development programmes take place.

"Judo is experiencing the most critical period for decades," said Ippon Gear chief executive Stefan Kneitinger.

"Nearly all schools, gyms and sports clubs are shut down or are facing restrictions to prevent the spread of infection.

"Even though we see light at the end of the tunnel, the most difficult time is still ahead, the time after COVID-19. 

"This will be the time when we have to bond all the power of the judo family, to re-build the clubs, to bring judoka back to the gyms, to attract new members and to convince the people out there of the important values of our sport.

"Values that have suffered a lot during the last months and will be more important than ever before.

"The EJU has been like a family to us, for many years. 

"We are a European brand, and through this partnership we can contribute to the development of judo in Europe. 

"Especially in times like this, we all need to stick together and make sure that judo will survive this pandemic. 

"It will take some time but through this collaboration we can support clubs and federations to make sure judo is stronger than this. 

"For us, there was never a doubt to extend the contract as the main equipment partner with the EJU, now or ever. 

"We look forward to the upcoming years with the EJU. 

"They will be exciting years but we are positive that together, we can overcome this difficult period."