As we wish all our members and friends a very Happy Christmas we reflect on the amazing inclusive judo year we have shared together promoting and developing inclusion in judo worldwide.
The SNJU continues to be a progressive force in the development of worldwide SN/Adaptive judo. 2019 saw our membership grow to an all time high with many new countries and federations becoming members of the fastest growing SN/Adaptive judo organization in the world.
In the past eleven months we have achieved and surpassed some of our goals and ambitions for adaptive judo and look forward to the joys and challenges of 2020.
2019 started off with our own board meeting in Switzerland at which we laid out our ambitious plans for the year ahead. These plans included more development courses, more competitive opportunities, more personal development and more unity amongst countries with SN judo programs. This we not only spoke about and planned – but also achieved!
Competition Opportunities: This year we staged and supported the European Open SN Games in Sweden, the World SN Games in The Netherlands and the Swiss Open SN Championships in Switzerland. In additional our team was the lead support team for the Special Olympic World Games in Abu Dhabi. Individually each of our team members supported and organized inclusion events in their respective counties and helped many more in other countries.
Development courses: Our online SN referee course continues to attract interested parties and has resulted in an international register of developing SN referee across the world. We continue to host workshops and seminars at all our supported events and this year we added some additional seminars of interest including therapy/disability assisted dogs programmes, SN tournament preparation, SN & unified kata to name but a few.
In Switzerland this year we staged the first two day Coaching & Competition Seminar and workshops. A large number of our members clubs/countries took part in this incredible two day course which covered adaptive coaching, play & contest rules, disability awareness seminars, Judo games workshops and much more.. The event was run under the aspics of Special Olympics Switzerland, Swiss Judo Federation and run by SNJU directors James Mulroy and Cilia Evenblij.
Unity and Inclusion: The SNJU has been working very hard to bring together as many SN judo organizations, clubs and federations for the single purpose of raising awareness and further developing adaptive/SN/inclusive judo worldwide. Early this year we had the ideal opportunity to do just that. For the very first time in judo history SN judo was invited to take part in the annual EJU Judo festival in Croatia. The SNJU were instrumental in delivering seminars, workshops and advice to a number of large interested audiences.
Other amazing firsts was the inclusion of a number of teams who wowed the audience at this year’s EJU Kata Championships with demonstrations of adapted and unified kata. This we see as a major step forward in EJU thinking and policy and could possibly open the door to further development in this area of our sport.
In other News: The board of the SNJU are delighted and excited to be the major contributors to the EU funded “Autjudo” Erasmus + programme. Funding was secured and the research program will run for the next three years across six European countries.
We approach 2020 with the same enthusiasm and drive as 2019 and aim to keep moving forward. In 2020 we will be launching the long awaited online coaching course, this will go live in early January. Supported competitive events will include the World SN Games in Netherlands in April, the Swiss SN Open in June and the European Open SN Games in Ireland in October.
In addition we will be staging a number of seminars and workshops again next year at the EJU Judo Festival in Croatia.
For now we would like to wish the whole judo world and very Happy Christmas and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in 2020.
SNJU Team Tomas, James, Tycho, Cilia, Bob
On Sunday, October 6th Judo Aiseau – Presles organised the 10th edition of the International Hainaut Cup. And for the first time, the organisation decided to have a “handi-kata” tournament alongside the original tournament.
What can we say- the tournament was very successful! Special Needs judoka showed their art, judged by the same jury as their regular friends.
We applaud Aiseau-Presles for their effort, in line with the interest that EJU have shown into the Adapted Kata sport and we hope that there will be a follow-up in 2020, and of course that their initiative will also encourage other clubs and organisations to organise an Adapted Kata tournament!
If a club is looking for advice on how to do this, then of course SNJU are always at your service to help you with your effort.
Progress and Success
The SNJU would like to congratulate our technical director Tycho and his kata partner David on their fantastic achievement of winning silver at the recent EJU European Kata Championships in Gran Canaria. Their performance in katame no kata was just 5 points off the gold medal spot.
This alone gives us great pride; however the story doesn’t stop there. For the very first time in European Kata Championship history, a very special demonstration was invited to take place.
With the progressive development of adaptive kata practice within SN judo across Europe, it was fitting for two teams from the Netherlands to demonstrate the possibilities of adaptive kata to a packed audience at this year’s European Kata Championships.
First of the demonstrations came from the pairing of Sanne Simons and Thomas Schepen. Sanne and Thomas both have Down Syndrome and both share their passion for Judo and in particular Judo Kata. They presented three adapted series of the nage no kata to a packed arena who could not contain their appreciation and excitement following the final rei. The standing ovation and applause lasted as long as the demonstration itself.
When eventually the audience calmed down, it was the turn of Cees Roest and his kata partner Janienke Roelfsema. Cees is paraplegic and his display of brilliance was performed from a kneeling position. The various techniques were adapted to Cees’ condition, and they demonstrated a meticulously executed interpretation of nage-nō-kata. Again following the final rei, the arena goes wild with a well-deserved standing ovation and applause delivered by a stunned and appreciative audience.
This is a major step forward for adaptive judo in general and adapted kata in particular. It is fair to say that the interest of the European judo community has been aroused and the possibilities acknowledged.
SN Judo Kata has been developing across Europe for some time now and is now included in a number of SN judo tournaments, the biggest of which is at the SN World Judo Games in Beverwijk, Netherland in April each year. We are confident moving forward that SN kata can be included at more events both SN and mainstream and will promote positive inclusion right across our sport. We would like to thank the EJU for having the vision and courage to understand and recognise the importance and possibilities of adapted judo and for taking the historic step forward to include all ability judoka in its future plans and visions.
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.
Earlier this week, on the EJU Special Needs Judo Festival in Poreč, Croata, SNJU officials performed a comprehensive seminar on how to teach Judo to people with a disability. We are proud that SNJU played a major role in this event.
The Board of the SNJU wishes to express its great appreciation for Frövi Judo’s skillful execution of the OESN tournament, last weekend in Lindesberg. Our sincere compliments for the tireless efforts of Johan Orrbo and his enthusiastic team for a wonderful weekend of tournaments, seminars and fun.
Details will be forthcoming soon for the next OESN, which will take place in 2020, in Ireland ☘️
SNJU will issue a full review about the event to its members soon.
A special mention for the young Finnish referee Joona Nakki, who competed on Saturday morning, but was a referee in the afternoon- the first Special Needs referee for an SNJU event ever!
Finally: to view the photos of this amazing event, click HERE.
The SNJU are proud to introduce you to one of our member organisation/clubs, who are the first to be featured in our Special Features section of our website.
This new section of the website is aimed at promoting and highlighting the amazing work that is going on all over the world in the area of inclusive judo.
Welcome to Judo Klub Sokol, Slovenia.
Judo Klub Sokol is a judo club that has been working in the city of Ljubljana, Slovenia for over 24 years. They are an enthusiastic small club with a lot of warm-hearted and open-minded people, aiming to contribute to the development of their society.
They started as a section of the Judo Club Golovec in 1987. This section became so numerous that they decided to set up an independent club in 1993, with the main goal of spreading the philosophy of this martial art in Ljubljana (Slovenia). Initially, the club started with a very few members, but with the effort and dedication of everybody, started growing slowly.
In the recent years, the club has experienced a substantial growth, and it has turned into an institution that works for the improvement of society using sports as a tool to achieve this goal. However, it has never lost the atmosphere that characterizes it, being always a family club where everybody is welcome and free to bring new ideas.
As a good example of this, most of the people who are working or volunteering in the club were practising judo with us previously, and some of them are even combining working and participating in classes as judo pupils as well. All trainers are professional judokas with broad experience on teaching. Some of them were very successful competitors in national and international judo competitions.
They are also one of the few sport clubs in Slovenia that welcome judokas with disabilities in our classes, including them in every activity we make, and integrating them into the groups, in order to give them an opportunity to participate as anyone else.
Inclusion is the main topic that concerns us nowadays. They are working very hard to show society that it is possible to include people with disabilities in the same classes as people without disabilities, thus normalizing a situation that they find unfair.
“Many times families with kids with disabilities have to face barriers when they are trying to enrol their kids in sports, just because they are different. That is our reason, to work for a more human world, in which everyone can participate and bring their skills to our activities”.
The club works with people aged from 5 to 75 years old. Currently, with a membership of circ. 300 students.
Here are some great videos about inclusive judo from Judo Klub Sokol:
- Festival juda za vse Jožeta Škrabe, Koper 2018 – 2nd Judo Festival for All Jože Škraba 2018
- Obisk predsednika RS Boruta Pahorja – Visit of the President of Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor in inclusive judo training 2019
- Svetovne igre SOS in obisk predsednika – World Special Olympic Gold Medal and president on national TV 2019
- Adrijan in Benjamin – evropska promotorja združenega športa – Adrian & Benjamin are SOEE young promotors of unified sport
Contact person: Viktorija Pečnikar Oblak
Telephone: 00 386 31 766 880
Address: Pokopališka ulica 35, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU
Open hours: Monday till Friday from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Dear SNJU friends & members,
We thank you for your support to date and hope we can rely on your continued support into the future.
Over the past 12 months the SNJU have been working tirelessly on the promotion, development and raising awareness of SN/adapted Judo worldwide.
In this time we have
- increased our membership to 56 member clubs/organisations/Federations spanning over 26 countries
- launched an online SN referee training program
- Hosted a number of high profile SN judo tournaments
- Been instrumental in the running of the Special Olympic World Games – Judo in Abu Dhabi
- Run a number of adaptive coaches courses in various countries
- Identified and assisted in the setting up of new SN programs in various countries
In the coming months we will be
- Involved in an European Erasmus+ project to research and develop the effects of judo in people with special needs / autism
- Launching an international online SN coaching program
- Delivering special needs seminars at the upcoming EJU festival in Croatia
- Running year 2 of the SN World Games in the Netherlands
- Assisting in the running of the Swiss SN Championships
- Running further adaptive coaching courses
This is us just getting warmed up, there will be lots more development of SN judo worldwide as our program grows and more and more people get involved in this amazing part of our sport.
To continue to be part of this wonderful journey we how invite you to renew your annual membership with us. This membership renewal is due the 1st April each year and cost just a nominal fee of €20. You can renew by following this link https://snju.org/product/webstore-snju-membership/
We thank you in advance for your support and look forward to working with you all in the future.
Tomas, James Tycho, Cilia, Bob