Japanese Embassy donates judo kit

08th March 2018
GRAPPLING: Judo demonstration Source:The Midweek Sun

The Japanese Solidarity of International Judo Education donated 50 (Judo) suits to Botswana Judo Federation (BJF) in Gaborone this past weekend.

The donation follows the construction of the Sensei Itsubo Memorial Dojo, which was constructed with the assistance of the Japanese Embassy. Officiating during the handing over ceremony, Japanese Ambassador Kozo Takeda said the recently opened Judo dojo was constructed last year through the Grant Assistance for the Cultural Grassroots Projects of the Japanese Government.

“It also under an initiative of the Japanese Government called (Sports for Tomorrow).” This initiative aims at enhancing the value of sports as we head towards the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020,” he said.

Takeda said name of the Dojo “Sensei Itsubo Memorial Dojo” is derived from the late Judo coach Keisuke Itsubo who was dispatched to Botswana as a JICA volunteer and was attached to the Botswana Judo Federation (BJF). Takeda adds: Sensei Itsubo worked with great enthusiasm on the development of Judo in Botswana and gave a profound and positive influence on local Judokas.

“Now the government of Japan together with Solidarity of International Judo Education invited two of distinguished Japanese Judokas to this Dojo in order to develop and enhance the performance of Botswana’s young Judokas. One of the two is Hitoshi Sugai who is acclaimed as a great Judoka having won the 1985 and 1987 Judo World Champion. He also won the All Japan Judo title in 1983, 1985 and 1987.

Masayuki Keage is also a well-known Judoka who has been coaching all over the world including Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Tanzania, Mozambique and Botswana. In fact, this is his second time to visit and coach in Batswana.” “As the Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo in 2020, I am sure that everyone present here has a strong desire that Batswana judokas would perform Olympic Games and catch the eye of the world.

To make this happen, it is my sincere wish that Batswana judokas would take full advantage of this dojo and our Judo experts for achieving their goal.”Speaking after the handover ceremony, Development Director of the BJF Sensei Ishmael Thaga said it was a good gesture by the Japanese Embassy and the NPO Solidarity of International Judo Education to donate the necessary equipment to the sport code.

Furthermore, Thaga applauded the Japanese Embassy for their generous donation adding that the suits will assist the BJF in accommodating more schools in their fold. " We are happy for this gesture, we will be adopting many primary schools in Gaborone in the next coming weeks."

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