At the invitation of Delphine Britten, professor of modern literature in both the high school and university in Angers in western France, IJF Media and Judo for Peace Director Nicolas Messner came to speak with students from both institutions.

Over two days, Nicolas Messner presented the work done by the International Judo Federation, particularly in the fields of development, Judo for Peace and Judo for Children.

On Tuesday 21st November, three groups of fifteen-year-old students, a total of 350 people, attended the events at Lycée du Sacré-Coeur La Salle, while on Wednesday 22nd, 150 university students were able to learn more about the values of judo and about travelling in the service of a cause.

Nicolas Messner explained, "It was a great exercise. Talking to young people is always something interesting, even necessary. There was total attention from students, many of whom have already done judo at least once in their life, but they did not necessarily understand that judo went beyond the boundaries of simple practice. It's really great to take the time to talk to young people and to listen to them too. Questions and comments during discussions were numerous, often moving sessions beyond the time allotted."

Delphine Britten explained, "What the students heard during the conferences is very important. It gives them the experience of someone who is in the field. It is very concrete. I am happy and proud that Nicolas could share this with young citizens, people in the making. It is a chance to have moments of exchange between generations."

Feedback from the students was very positive too. Students said, "We learned a lot and we discovered a lot! We are happy to hear that through sport we can make a difference and that travelling is best way to be open to the world and to respect each other."

The Moral Code (Self-control, Friendship, Modesty, Courage, Politeness, Honour, Respect, Sincerity)

This was a first experience that maybe will inspire further meetings. Talking about judo, its values and the impact it has on society can only help build a better society. Dialogue is often lacking today and between generations the gap can be even wider.

Clarisse Agbegnenou

After two days, 500 students and their professors know that judo and sports in general are more than important. At the end, everyone enjoyed a personal video message from Clarisse Agbegnenou (FRA), who invited them to have dreams and to believe in themselves.

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