WINDHOEK, 26 NOV – The Namibia Judo Federation (NJF) and International Judo Federation (IJF) are on a drive to develop the sport in Namibia following the donation of over 500 judo mats and 250 judo suits to five primary schools in Namibia.
The schools are Cimbebasia, Orban, Mandume, Deutsche Höhere Privatschule and the School for the Visually Impaired, all in Windhoek.
Speaking at the handover of the equipment here on Monday, Cornelius Matthyser, a judo coach who facilitated the donation from IJF, said they hope to reach over 3 200 primary school children.
“The project will start running in January and our aim is to have a primary schools’ leagues in the Khomas Region. We will then select a team of 50 students in each school who will compete against each other,” Matthyser said.
If the project is a success they will take it into other regions, with the aim of spreading it across the 14 regions in the near future.
Matthyser added that judo will help children develop their concentration levels, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
His words were echoed by Director of Education for Khomas Region, Gerard Vries who said this is in line with the ministry’s motto of ‘healthy mind, healthy body and healthy spirit’.
“We selected these schools because they have resources like a hall and storage facilities for such equipment. We are also in talks with the Japanese Judo Federation and government to build a hall and storage facilities at the Havana Primary School,” said Vries.
He said this envisaged hall will be used as a meeting place, exam venue and also for income-generating activities.
Chalo Chainda, the marketing executive at the Namibia Sports Commission, said this is part of the vision of the commission.
“Development is a priority for us. When we see this happening we are very much excited as we see it as implementation by the federations who are making sport accessible to the people,” he said adding that they will launch their strategic plan soon.
Judo was first introduced in Namibia by Sensei Kurt Block in the early 1990s.
Since then Namibian judoka have been regularly participating in the Africa Union Sport Council Region 5 Games (previously known as the Zone VI Championships), South African Open as well as other international championships. – NAMPA