On the second day of the Junior European Judo Championships in The Hague, the Dutch Judo Federation commemorated some of the greatest figures from their organisation during the opening ceremony.
Vice president of the Dutch Judo Federation and Tournament Director, Thomas van Gestel gave the opening speech,
It is with a great pleasure and honour that I welcome you to the European Judo Championships Juniors The Hague. The Dutch Judo Federation is very proud to host the title tournament of the EJU Junior European Tour.
Judo is a sport with great traditions and values. Therefore the Dutch Judo Federation is happy that during the opening ceremony we can acknowledge our Japanese heritage with a performance of traditional Japanese percussion. We are grateful for the support we have received from the EJU, our national government, the Ministry of Welfare, Health and Sport, the host city of The Hague, our National Olympic Committee, our sponsors and all officials, volunteers and staff.
The Hague has vast ambitions to host international sports events and is European Judo city of the year 2023. On behalf of the Dutch Judo Federation I would like to wish all participants and coaches success throughout these four days.
Sports Director of The Hague, Peter van Veen followed the vice president,
It is my great honour to welcome you to the European Judo Championships Juniors in The Hague in Sportcampus Zuiderpark. A celebration of youthful talent, strength, discipline and the spirit of competition. Your presence here today is a testament to the power of sport to unite nations and cultures, a fitting reflection of The Hague’s commitment to peace and justice on the global stage.
I would like to extend my thanks to the EJU president Dr. Tóth László, and the Dutch Judo Federation. Your support and dedication to the growth of judo and Europe are truly commendable. As we gather here today in the Royal City of The Hague for the Junior European Judo Championships, we have the opportunity to watch the athletes. I encourage each young athlete to compete with honour and integrity knowing that your achievements and sportsmanship will inspire generations to come.
European Judo Union President, Dr. Tóth László continued the sentiments,
From the European Judo Union, I would like to welcome these athletes to the Junior European Judo Championships, a thanks to the sponsors and supporters who have helped organise this event, special thanks for the city of The Hague and Dutch Judo Federation, alongside the EJU. I wish a successful competition to all of you and wish to tell you that I’m very happy that European Judo has returned to the Netherlands at this top level. I hope the success and collaboration will continue with one of the most successful countries in Europe.
Following this opening, President Tóth went on to present awards for the finest contributors to judo in the Netherlands. First to receive the honours of the Tokyo Olympic Plaque was Honorary President of the Dutch Judo Federation, Mr Jos Hell, followed by Honorary Member of the European Judo Union, Mr Jan Snijders, with the Best of the Best Award.
Author: Thea Cowen