18 June 2019


6th EJU Judo Festival - Porec, Croatia


EJU Expert Sergio Oliveira specialises in the education of young athletes and, keeping in line with the theme of the Festival, kept the kids on the U15 and U13 Camp laughing the whole session.

EJU Expert Sergio Oliveira

Talking to Oliveira, he portrays his passion for his role here,

What is so important about the camp which is part of the Judo Festival is the international contact. They do not only develop judo technique here but they’re give then opportunity for social exchange. They are all having fun trying new techniques but it is very important to encourage these friendships. You can see we practice judo but it’s about the movement.

These days that they spend here, this new generation, with the world being so small, probably one or the other will keep in contact and visit another country. This gives them the opportunity to visit new cultures, new ways of life and they can see that the world is not, for example, what I think it is as an individual, but what we think together, this is how we make it better. Discussions and conversations build a better world and their interactions lead to this, a better understanding of each other. 

This is not about competition here, it is to learn together, to have fun, we, the trainers, probably learn more than the kids!

The numbers grow year upon year for the U15 & U13 Camp

It is evident that even language barriers don’t stop the children from interacting with one another, one young man, Julius from a club in Poland, spoke with us about his experience on the camp, 

I’m from Poland, I come from Fighting Club UKJ 225. I’ve really enjoyed my time on the camp, there has been some very hard training and a great atmosphere. This is my first time on the camp, and I have come here with 12 people from my judo club. There are so many countries that come together and I even got to fight in the cadet group and had fights with people from Austria, Germany and Poland. It has been a great experience for me that I can use when I go home in my club and in competitions.

Though the camp appears predominantly Russian, year after year more nations arrive to take part in the esteemed Festival. A group from Iceland decided to make the journey after seeing the camp promotion. Gudmundur Stefan Gunnarsson spoke with us to explain why he will be returning next year, 

I have four boys on this camp, we have come over from Iceland. Our judo club is under one name as we do all sports there and part of this is a judo branch. We saw one of the promotional videos for the Festival on social media and thought, I want to take my club there. We are going to organise another trip next year, to bring more of the club. The U18 Camp was very hard, very good but hard and it is good to see the standards so that we can raise ours to be the same. The Family Camp is really good, my boys are five and love this, one of my boys is on the mat now for the U15 & U13 Camp, he doesn’t ususally train a lot at home but he has been here every day and really likes it. 

It is a good experience to meet new people and new trainers. It is a big adventure in itself to go on holiday for children so to be part of this is definitely going to motivate them when they’re home so they can come back next year. 

It is interesting for me, I attended one of the Improve Your Club Seminars and I will do so next year, as well as the Kodokan Seminar.

Adding to the fun of the camp was the arrival of some heroes. The children were eager to test out their techniques on Russian athletes, Olympic Champion, Khusen KHALMUSAEV and multiple World medallist and European Champion, Kirill DENISOV. 

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Wonderful opportunity to get Olympic Champion, Khasen KHALMURZAEV’s autograph.

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Kirill DENISOV meets with the kids