Last weekend (20-23/6) the SNJU proudly supported the Swiss International SN Judo festival in conjunction with Special Olympics Switzerland and the hosts, Uster Judo club.
It was an incredible 4 days of inclusion, play, fun, sightseeing and competition. The event started on Thursday with the arrival of international teams from Romania, Ireland, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany and France. Two international inclusive training sessions were arranged by the hosts Judo club Uster and were run by SNJU directors James Mulroy and Cilia Evenblj. Fun and games was the topic of the day and a great session was enjoyed by all.
Friday morning it was time to see of the wonders Switzerland has to offer. With volunteer guides everyone boarded the train to see the magnificent Rhine fall, waterfalls. What an amazing trip with incredible views, great company and a soaking boat trip to the base of the waterfall.
In the afternoon it was off to the venue for check-in and the now infamous mixed, mixed international team event. This event mixes countries, players, coaches, weights and levels to create mixed mixed team who all compete together in a fun and friendly contest.
Dinner was served for all at Scout House where most of the visitors made their home for the duration of their stay. As the very tired athletes headed off to get some sleep, the coaches, referees and guests gathered for our seminars and workshops. In our quest to deliver new and interesting education seminars, James introduced a seminar on autism assistance dogs and their benefits and roles. He then handed over to parent Eamon who presented George the dog and informed every one of his and his children’s experience using a service dog. The seminar was certainly interesting and attracted a lot of questions. Next up was the topic of divisioning and the importance of the involvement of coaches and referees. This was expertly delivered by Cilia. Last on the list was the contest and play safety rules seminar delivered by James.
And on to the main event… Saturday morning saw the arrival of the Swiss teams and the check-in and divisioning. The divisioning was led by Cilia and assisted by all the coaches as discussed the previous evening. The result of the divisioning was 24 beautifully created pools that were even and fair for the athletes. Competition started at 1.30 and was a beautiful display of friendship, skill, determination and judo spirit. The divisioning proved its worth with fair yet competitive pools in all categories.
After the medal presentation it was back to the scout house for an evening food, drink, fun and laughter, a great end to a great event. Congratulations to Cilia for a great run event and to everyone involved in the preparation and execution of a wonderful festival of judo.