Full speed ahead for the Malta Judo Federation
The Malta Judo Federation, is currently preparing for an important step in its existence – that of having its own facilities where the Federation can finally invest in its nursery and future. The first event in a row of events to be organized was the Volunteers and Sport conference. The Malta Judo Federation, thanks to the Malta Council for the Voluntary Section, through the Small Initiative Support Scheme, organised a public lecture for parents, judoka and the general public, followed by practical training for Judo Technical Officials.
The public lecture was opened by Mr. Envic Galea, President of the Malta Judo Federation. During the opening, and later in his speech, he said that the Federation was taking action to resolve a serious problem: where to train the national team. The plans to have these facilities built in Pembroke have been going for a long time, and finally the problems encountered have now been ironed out. The first function planned for this center, was the Malta International Open, however, due to small hitches, the place was still not ready, but will be ready in April. The Federation is recruiting volunteers to return to its golden times in which they were on the top in the organization of activities on and off the mat. The Federation is grateful to the Parliamentary Secretaries for Sport, and Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, for their assistance to carry out this project. Mrs Doriette Agius, Scientific Officer and nutritionist at Health Promotion Unit, gave a very insightful presentation about healthy eating. Ms Agius also gave a lot of practical information and ideas on how to eat. Mrs Louisa Agius Galea, Secretary General of the Malta Judo Federation, and also the Protocol Manager of the International Judo Federation, walked the public through the adventure of Event Management – from conception to organisation. Mrs Galea explained that volunteering does not necessarily mean the dedication of ones life to something, but any time that can be offered to voluntary organizations and events can make a difference. Any volunteers interested in helping out should register their interest on www.maltasportsvolunteer.info.
The next event was the specialised referee seminar lead by International Referee currently ranked in the top 30 of the world, and who is refereeing at the Parolympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this year. The current Judo Referees, and 4 new ones, attended this seminar, and then refereed at the Malta International Judo Open. Club leaders and National Team members also attended this seminar.
At the 32nd Malta International Open, 18 clubs from 9 countries participated at the flagship event of the Malta Judo Federation (MJF). Mr Alex Bezzina, Sport Director of the MJF, said that “In this edition there was a good participation from many countries. The level ranged from club level athletes to athletes competing in the national and international leagues. Noteworthy was also the performance of the upcoming athletes.” The day after, the young judoka came to the tatami to participate in the Fra Andrew Bertie Festival, coordinated by Sensei Joe Castillo and the club coaches. The dragons, as they are called, had two hours full of Judo basics and techniques, core exercises and games, all combined in a great program. All dragons were awarded a commemorative medal.
The organization of the Malta International Judo Open would have been very difficult without the support of the SIS Project.