23 June 2024


EJU Kids Camp 2024


On Saturday 22nd of June, the EJU Kids Camp started during the 2024 edition of the EJU Judo Festival, seeing children coming together from Slovakia, to the Netherlands and Greece. In the initial session led by EJU Judo for Children Commissioner, Nuno DELGADO, the judo values were instilled and explained through games, which has been developed to help coaches and children apply them to both judo and real life situations. Speaking to one of the project coordinators, Toma JELUŠIĆ, coach and secretary of the Judo Association of PGZ and Judo Klub Rijeka, he explained the need for this,

I represent judo association of our region, it’s called Primorje – Gorski Kotar County, next to Istria. So we developed this programme in 2022, it’s a programme under the Erasmus field with four partners. We are working with Croatian Judo Federation, Judo Klub Golovec in Slovenia and Judo Yama Arashi Udine. 

Toma JELUŠIĆ, Coach and Secretary of the Judo Association of PGZ and Judo club Rijeka © Carlos Ferreira

We were trying to find a simple way to transfer the judo moral code to the children. Of course it is a very popular topic that has been talked about and thought about a lot, so we had to think about what to do that was new and innovating but we agreed on a short handbook, short being the key. I am emphasising as when it’s too long, either no one will read it or only a small number who are very interested. It’s two pages per value, a short explanation of the value and two games. These also have small explanations, how to connect the game to the certain value. 

This was particularly important because I have a handbook with games that simply said ‘politeness, friendship and courage’ and this was it, so you have to then find ways to connect and we wanted to make it clear and simple to implement. Freeze tag for example, you must stay still until you are freed by a judo technique and this is self control. The third part was every day examples, like playing video games, you don’t need to become so angry or throw things, in a fight you still bow and shake hands. So these three things; games, short explanation and an every day example. With two promotional opportunities here in Poreč, I think we have done a good job transferring our story and our project to a lot of people, from children to coaches and had a lot of interest. 

Author: Thea Cowen