13 November 2021


Through the Keyhole


‘Through the Keyhole’ continues this week with Pavel Yasenovsky. Most will know him only in an official capacity during tournaments as an EJU Sports Director. 

He has been on the circuit for quite some time now. Back in 2005 during the EJU congress, Pavel was elected to the sports commission as an observer. 

From that moment until today, I have been doing everything within my authority and competence, relying on my experience and professional knowledge to develop and strengthen the global position of EJU.

EJU photographer, Anna ZELONIJA and Pavel. © Emanuele Di Feliciantonio

Though his contributions make him known now, where did it all begin? 

In 1972 there was a welcoming sports hall next to his house that was holding judo classes, but only for those over the age of 12 at that time. As he was younger than this, his parents stepped in to give him the opportunity. 

Ever since, Pavel’s life has run alongside the sport, impacting every aspect. 

Sport has determined the choice of my professional activity. My whole life is connected with this sport. The sports principles of judo have shaped my character, influenced my life values and goals.

Though we are gradually coming out of the worst of the pandemic and the EJU calendar has been filling up, allowing athletes to go back to competition, preparing for Olympic qualification to start 2022, it has forever changed our appreciation. For Pavel, it is no different. 

People who love judo have developed a certain outlook on life, internal discipline. Without any doubts these things helped to overcome the difficulties that we are all facing during the pandemic. New realities have come to our sport as well. We had online trainings, the federation supported the athletes and was always in touch. The federation organised charitable assistance to doctors who were on the duty. In many ways, athletes have become an example for the public.

Kirill Denisov (RJF Sport Director), Umarpasha Khanaliev (Deputy Prime Minister), Andrey Nazarov (Prime Minister of the Bashkortostan), Pavel Yasenovsky (EJU Sport Director).

Pavel with referees, Vladimir NUTSUBIDZE and Roberta CHYURLIA during the 2018 EJU Gala.

The pandemic has demonstrated that the judo community, far and wide has managed to overcome terrible circumstances, not only for athletes but for the families and young children who relied on the structure and support of their judo environment. 

Author: Thea Cowen