On the 23rd and 24th of January 2019, in Zagreb, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Sanda Corak, President of Croatian Judo Federation and Jane Bridge, Vice President of the European Judo Union.
The subject of the MOU discusses the cooperation between the parties, aimed at implementation of the EJU project Ukemi Lessons at School which will be incorporated in to the National Federation’s ongoing project.
The school visits were varied in order to show how this project is being implemented across a range of schools and abilities. Three of these schools were for mainstream practitioners and involved explanations of the development within these structures, and also another two clubs who are catering for special needs in children with autism and persons with cerebral palsy.
Included in these visits was the University of Zagreb, located here is the Faculty of Kinesiology and professor Hrvoje Sertic, PhD. All future physical education teachers will learn judo and provided for these professionals is the department for polystructural (combat) sports.
Judo is practiced in about 80-90 schools, with about 2500 pupils in Croatia. The Croatian Judo Federation organise county and national school competitions. The most recent tournament was held on the 14th of February 2019 which had an impressive turnout of 260 competitors from 10 of the 21 counties across the nation. According to the Croatian School Sport Association, judo is the second most popular school sport in Croatia, handball being the first.
The most important problem is the provision of puzzle mats, as schools do not have them, and currently the Croatian Judo Federation has to provide the schools, assistance from the EJU in accruing more materials would be of great support to the Federation. Sanda Corak, President of Croation Judo Federation said,
“If we succeed to have 10 new schools every year in the project, that would be a great success. I am sure that we can make this project, with the help of EJU, more successful in the next few years”.