President of the International Judo Federation, Mr Marius VIZER, gave the opening words for the 2023 IJF Congress in Doha, Qatar.
Welcome to the country of innovation, technology and the biggest sport event organiser in the world today. By investing in sport, you invest in education and you invest in the future of the world, in unity and peace. Here they are building a new future and organising a modern society.
President Vizer emphasised the need for autonomy in sport, that we must look to our key values and uphold our responsibility to protect it, that unity, friendship and respect are the basic principles of society.
Following the welcoming speech, President of the Qatar Olympic Committee, His Excellency Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al-Thani addressed the room.
It is important and a pleasure for us to host this IJF Congress and we look forward to the next two weeks of judo. We have been waiting many years to celebrate this event with you and wish you and your athletes the best of luck showcasing the best of judo.
The Paris 2024 Olympic Games was then addressed by President Vizer, sharing data including the equal number of male and female athletes (169:169, not including the 15 university places, five additional places for the Mixed Team event and six places for the Refugee team.) Paris 2024 will be the first Olympics in history to achieve gender parity on the field of play.
There has been tremendous progress in many areas of this sport, discussed was the success of Judo in Schools, promoting the sport and the values as well as the IJF Academy, celebrating the 10 year anniversary since establishment. So far, 130 national federations have been involved in the Academy with an incredible 6000 students.
Closing his presentation, President Vizer announced that the theme for World Judo Day 2023 would be ‘bring your friend to judo’. Unquestionably, judo is something we all want to share with our friends, family and communities, knowing the benefits that it produces. By exposing more people to the sport we can continue to spread the judo values which contribute to a better society and help exposure of the sport.
The Congress continues with formalities, addressing media plans and the tremendous growth as a result of a multi-platform effort, as well as the implementation and assessment of the success of gaming options, generating over 2.5 million downloads.
An exciting announcement came from Vladimir BARTA concerning the World Combat Games 2023 in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. This October, there will be a Mixed Teams tournament whereby three teams, each from Asia, Africa, Europe, Pan-America and one team from Oceania and finally a team from the domestic organiser. The final nomination will be based on world ranking and the teams will be invited following the World Championships here in Doha.
The IJF concluded with nominations for the IJF General Treasure and General Secretary.
Mr Naser AL-TAMIMI took up the first position, and the latter to Lisa ALLAN. It is with great pleasure that we can announce that the general secretary position will continue to be held by a European candidate, a former EJU sport commission member who has been IJF Event Director for the past decade.
A huge congratulations from the European Judo Union.
Author: Thea Cowen