The opening day of the Games of Small States of Europe saw many spectators including Albert II, Prince of Monaco. He, himself is not new to the sporting world having competed at five winter Olympics. Moreover, Albert II is a black belt in judo too. The President of the European Judo Union, Dr TÓTH László appreciated the visit from Albert II at the judo venue. In addition, the Prince of Liechtenstein and Prince of Luxembourg also visited for the preliminary rounds.
Dr Tóth expressed his thoughts on the event;
I am positively surprised at the event so far, the atmosphere is very special. Moreover, I was also impressed with the level of judo, there are many talented judoka amongst the small states of Europe, therefore, we immediately started to think of strategies on how we can support these judoka. We understand there are financial restraints, technical and other challenges some might face, therefore further strategic planning will be needed. It is important for the EJU to support these nations as they have been previously overlooked.
We have already supported some of the teams to attend several OTC camps and a few tournaments. Today we have seen positive feedback and the resulting outcome of that support.
Having Albert II visiting the judo venue was a great pleasure and honour for us. The same goes to the Prince of Liechtenstein and Prince of Luxembourg. I am really delighted that they did not only visit but also enjoyed watching our event.
Author: Szandra Szogedi