Judo Festival 2016 Porec

The Judo Family was reunited in one place for over ten days whilst the 2016 Judo Festival took place. From the age of 5 to the age of 80, they all, together, shared their passion for judo, whilst enjoying their holidays in the heart of Porec, Croatia.

Playing sport offers children more than just physical profits. Sports naturally help kids academically as well as socially. The benefits are the same, whether or not a particular individual actually excels at their chosen sport. Some of them might even have role models along their journey. 

Role models provide direction in sport and in life, and that 'special' person not necessary has to be an outsider. It can also be within the family. But what exactly defines the phrase 'our family'? There are several ways to define it. One of them is when people share goals and values with long-term commitments within a certain society. For instance, in the society of Judo. In any case, does age matter? Not at all!

The 2016 Judo Festival offered a variety of programmes, including, children training with Olympic Champions. “I feel responsible for being a judo hero and not only for the youngsters but for our national team also. This little session was great with the kids and I have to say that it was very nice to have a break in our mind too because normally when we are wearing our judogi it means we fully focused to push ourselves to the maximum so today was very nice to spend sometimes with the youngsters”, said Olympic Champion, Tagir KHAIBULAEV (RUS) after a friendly session at the U8 and U15 kids camp. 

Early rise was on call for the U8 and their parents as every morning they went to the beach to complete their morning session together. Kids Camp project leader, Yuri Krischuk gave us an insight view of the project: “The 'Kids Camp' program based on trainings for children and parents together. Within these trainings the parents play several roles, for example, being training partners, personal coaches and also being students themselves… Parents start to have an understanding about judo. It is important that parents find time to do judo with theirs kids and the results of this pays off on a larger scale… This project is really powerful. Parents also getting involved in judo in many different ways, for example, becoming coaches or local referees and so on. As from the technical point of you, it is also really useful because according to our experiences, 10 days in this camp equals 3 months of ordinary group trainings.”

The President of the European Judo Union, Mr. Sergey Soloveychik expressed his thoughts of the 2016 Judo Festival: “The family is one of the main values of the humankind, and judo is a unique kind of sport that becomes a family activity and lets everyone to practice it. I am glad that at the Festival we have managed to gather judo practitioners of all ages: we have offered a Camp for U8 children who trained with their parents, a camp for U15 athletes, OTC training centre for high level judoka who are heading to the Olympic Games, competitions and training for veterans. I'm glad that participants of each activity had a possibility to 'intersect' and visit each other. The children had a chance to communicate with famous champions, medal winning veterans and judoka with disabilities. Specially, I believe in the project "Judo Family" when parents train with their children and we witness judo families inside the family of judo. It is especially important for parents - they learn how to better understand their kids, how to respect the sport practiced by children and they work together on the tatami.”

“I consider the third edition of the Festival to be a success. We will continue to develop the idea of judo being more than sport. I am especially happy that for the European Judo Union such warm family relationships and friendly atmosphere are particular. Our members spend lots of time together and feel united thanks to judo. I like the format of the festival. Even though the Organisation of such an event required lots of efforts and hard work from the EJU and Croatian Judo Federation, we plan to have it every year as a tradition. We will collect the feedback and try to make sure next year the event is even a bigger success with everyone feeling happy”, concluded the President of EJU, Mr. Soloveychik.