The IJF Judo in Schools programme was officially launched in Burkina Faso on 7th October in Zongo’s school in Ouagadougou. The ceremony was overseen by the Minister for Sport, Youth and Employment, Mr Savadogo, represented by Mr Watil Poda, head of mission at the Ministry.

At the launch, the Japanese ambassador in Burkina-Faso, His Excellency Masaaki Kata, His Majesty Zongo Naaba (Autority Customary) and the parents of pupils from Zongo school attended.

Japanese ambassador in Burkina Faso, His Excellency Masaaki Kata, with Burkina Faso Judo Federation president, Mr Pimbi Nikiema.

The project is planned to be extended through 10 schools in the towns of Ouagadougou, Bobo Dioulasso, Koudougou, Ouahigouya, Gourcy, Dédougou and Ziniaré.

Mr Pimbi Nikiema, president of the Burkina Judo Federation and project manager said, “It is an honour for Burkina Faso to join this great IJF programme. It will be very important for our society, giving us a new way to be able to instil the educational value of judo in our school pupils alongside their usual teaching and the school curriculum. Judo in Schools will impact our society through the formation of good citizens. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Marius Vizer, president of the IJF, and Ruben Houkes, Director of the Judo in Schools programme.”

The minister said, “In addition to the educational and societal values that the project instils, I believe that the project will contribute to us achieving the objectives of the national sports policy, especially in regard to sport development and talent detection.”

For His Excellency Masaaki Kata, there were only positives too, “Judo, which originates in Japan, is a discipline that promotes wellbeing for body and mind. It cultivates respect, tolerance, solidarity and social cohesion. In short, judo instils societal values. I am delighted that Burkina Faso will benefit from this programme, which will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the country’s society.”

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