8 March 2024



We read stories and hear about pioneering, courageous women, who stand for the rights of others. Now over the past couple of years, many will have had the privilege to meet or at the very least, see the work carried out by Marina DRAŠKOVIĆ. On International Women’s Day, we are proud to say that we have many women tirelessly working within the European Judo Union to better our sport and to create a better society as a result.

Coach of Judo Club Fuji and EJU Adapted Judo Project Manager, Marina has been striving for years to create inclusivity in judo and garnered great attention when 2008 Olympic Champion ISHII Satoshi of Japan, who has become a resident of Croatia, reached out to offer his support. With this offer, the club and project also gained media attention.

Already we were able to celebrate Marina’s work as part of the EJU team, with Adapted Judo included in the EJU Judo Festival in Porec, but outside of the sport she was recognised and received the ISCA Award in the category ‘Role models in health for socially disadvantaged groups (citizens’ choice)’. The ISCA award is for ‘Honouring Change-Makers, Building Healthy Futures’ and Marina is doing just that. Jigoro Kano established that bettering oneself will ultimately contribute to a better society, and by making the sport more and more accessible, change is coming.

This award was timely and came before the EJU Get Together in Venray, in which Marina was a key element and one of the reasons the event was a resounding success, together with the EJU team, volunteers and of course the participants, who came from around the world to be present for the inaugural event.

One individual who can support this is member of the Judo Club Fuji, Matej Malešević. During the EJU Judo Festival, we spoke with both Matej and Marina about the importance of judo, and that we stand by our motto that judo is more than sport.

Author: Thea Cowen