As part of our Special Features section, we would like to introduce Judo Club Zeleznicar Maribor, Slovenia. This club is a recent and welcomed addition to the SNJU family; this is their story.
Judo club Želežničar Maribor is one of the oldest judo clubs of Slovenia. We are located in the second biggest city, the city of Maribor. Since our founding in 1954 we have produced a number of top fighters – sportsmen, who achieved the highest domestic and international successes. The name of the club has been embeded in the minds of judoists ever since. We have been proud of our members’ achievements, have taken their loses with dignity and learned from their mistakes.
The club performes judo in various age groups, i. e. pre-school judo group, U10 judo group, U12 judo group (girls and boys), U14 judo group (girls and boys), U18 judo group and recreational group for adults. In 2019 we’ve established an inclusive judo group for children and adolescents and have successfully performed it ever since.
There have been people with specific impairments included in our regular programmes up until 2019, but since then they are participating workout in a secluded group, so that children with mental impairment (such as autism, Down syndrome) and other impairments (cerebral palsy) can participate. They wouldn’t be able to take place in judo training otherwise.
The goal of the inclusion group is to be able to allow every individual to develope and performe to his best abbility possible and to achieve success, gain confindence and feel accepted as a part of a group. It is our endevour to make children with impairments feel equal amongst peers, so socialising in group practice and other club activities and events is of essential meaning. Individuals, that are able to take part in regular practice despite of their impairment are included in regular training acitivities. Therefore, individuals have been included in the pre-school judo group and other age groups. For instance, in the recreational group for adults a judo master II. dan, who was totally blinded by disease, participates and it is a great honour for us to be able to practice by his side. We are participating annualy in the national inclusive judo competition and organise tournaments within the club.
We are extremely proud that our non-inclusive members have accepted the group as equal and are willing to participate in the group’s trainings to help out. Every person that steps onto our club’s tatami is an important part of the club chain and equaly significant. There is a common spirit of respect, help, co-operation, support and genuine joy about our members’ achievements that dominates our club.