Judo prides itself on the values it instills in those who partake in the sport.
The event that embodies this the moment is the team event. Throughout the Veteran European Judo Championships we see these values exhibited by the competitors as they are here purely because of their love for the sport and to enjoy it with the wider community. Win or lose, the smiles tell us all we need to know.
Most of those that compete in this event have lived interesting lives or are in a different profession, though of course we have many judo coaches here as well. To speak to doctors, professors, farmers, engineers and teachers, their passion for judo shines through and is a testament to judo for how it brings people from all walks of life together.
On the final day of the Veteran European Championships in Heraklion, Crete, we see pride of the team. The Georgian mens team, Great Britain women’s team and German mixed team took the gold medals today following exciting bouts against Azerbaijan, Germany and Spain. Yet at the end they all stand on the podium together and blend to show that the veteran community is one.
Not only was the mixed team men and women, but also included competitors from the Czech Republic and Switzerland.
The competition is now closed and the competitors may enjoy the hospitality of the Hellenic Judo Federation as well as the ancient history and beauty the island of Crete has to offer. We would like to thank the HJF for their incredible organisation for the first European Championship event for the veteran competitors since the pandemic took hold, it has been meaningful for many reasons but what they all attest to is the importance of being reunited and hope that in the future they will see more of their friends return to competition.
See you next year!
Author: Thea Cowen