Orsolya Pacsay-Tomassich, left, and Marius Vizer, right, sign the agreement ©IJF

The International Judo Federation (IJF) and the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has formalised an agreement to encourage higher education and scholarships to judokas.

The Memorandum of Understanding, which lasts till 2025, aims to help judo athletes transition from the sport to the next stage of their life in their post-athletic career.

"We very much appreciate the support and the interest in sport from the Hungarian Government,” Marius Vizer, IJF President, said.

"This project offers the possibility for judokas to complete higher education goals abroad while exchanging and experiencing the Hungarian culture, accompanying them and empowering their future."

The programme is set to begin this year with ten scholarships to be guaranteed for athletes.

This new initiative builds upon the Erasmus SchoolJudo.EU project, a scheme which believes teaching children about physical, mental, social, and emotional development through judo will greatly benefit their lives.

The IJF President signed the agreement in an official ceremony alongside Orsolya Pacsay-Tomassich, the State Secretary for the Hungarian Diplomatic Academy and Stipendium Hungaricum Programme, at the IJF headquarters in Budapest.

"We are very pleased to welcome judo athletes to our country and we are happy that we can support them through higher education opportunities," she said.

"We look forward to launching the programme this year and pursuing a fruitful collaboration."

Other Hungarian Government officials who attended the ceremony included Miklós Lengyel, Hungary’s Deputy State Secretary, István Perosa, the Head of Department for the Stipendium Hungaricum Programme and Renáta Katz, the Head of the Secretariat of the State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary.

Vlad Marinescu, director general of the IJF, represented the federation with the IJF President.