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Judo Club moves to boost women participation in sport

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The International Judo Federation (IJF) has restated commitment to train women athletes and create more opportunities in the sport for ladies.

As part of celebration of the World Judo Day in Abuja, at the weekend, the North Central zone of the Nigeria Judo Federation (NJF) organised a seminar in conjunction with Abuja Judo Association to mark the birthday anniversary of Prof. Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo.

Speaking at the one-day seminar, National Judo Coach, Bashir Bassey, said: “As a coach, I have brought up judo players from the grassroots level. I have done that for the past 50 years, even with my biological children, who are national champions, and African champions in judo.

“We have trained judokas to become African champions, with some winning medals at Africa Youth Games.

“We should begin the development of the sport from grassroots because if we get it right, the talents discovered can be trained to become world champions.”

Also speaking on Judo development, an FCT referee, Anyanwu Victor, said the idea of inclusion is to ensure women’s participation at all judo levels, from beginner to expert and childhood to adulthood.

Victor said: “The idea of non-discrimination underlies the sports, thus each national federation should make sure that women are welcome in all capacities within the sport, including roles of athletes, leaders, coaches, and others.”

In his presentation, 33rd U.S, Open Judo championship silver medallist, Olatunji Disu, encouraged policemen to be involved in the sport to ensure they are fit to withstand the rigours of the job.

Disu said: “I want to say that everybody should take part in one sport or the other. But being a Judoka and knowing the importance of Judo, I always enjoin everybody to come see what we do in judo. It keeps you fit physically, mentally, and especially for children, it will assist them in school to be able to learn better.”