Judo federations, clubs and communities have held special programmes around the world to mark the fifth edition of World Judo Day, with the theme of this year’s event focusing on “Unity”.
Held annually on October 28, the birthday of the sport’s founder Dr Jigaro Kano, the day seeks 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.
With a new theme selected each year, the concept of unity followed fresh from the previous selections of honour, perseverance, judo for all and respect.
International Judo Federation (IJF) President Marius Vizer reflected that the theme had highlighted the beliefs of the international judo community, while he hopes more people will participate and benefit from the sport following a day of activities.
“I congratulate the international judo community on the occasion of the fifth edition of the World Judo Day,” he said.
“Unity is very important for the international judo community because it is related to the dignity, values and honour of our sport.
“I wish that the international judo community works with unity, harmony and peace for the benefit of our sport.”
While judo activities were being held at clubs throughout the world, the sport’s elite level performers were also promoting the theme as they prepared for the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, which is due to take place from October 30 to November 1.
With 92 countries set to take part in the World Judo Tour level competition the IJF believe the event in the United Arab Emirates capital city highlights the unity present at the highest standard of the sport.
Two-time world champion Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo, who will hope to secure gold at her country’s first appearance at an Olympic Games next year in Rio de Janeiro, believes the theme of unity is vital to the global judo community.
“The one important lesson to learn and teaching to propagate when we travel the world is to respect everyone,” said the women’s under 52 kilogram judoka.
“Everybody has a different way of doing things and it is important that respect is maintained.”
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