The eighth edition of the Sergei Judo Camp is in full swing in Fiesch, in the Swiss Alps. With the support of the IJF and Olympic Solidarity, more than 350 judoka and their coaches meet daily on the tatami to perfect their preparation and get to know each other.
Ovini Uera of Nauru and his athletes

Here, it is not only a question of competition, although all the judoka present are already preparing for the future major world events. For some, the most seasoned, it will already be the Budapest Masters in a week, for others the wait will be a little longer before appearing on the world circuit.

In the studious yet relaxed context of Fiesch, the coaches play a central role in supporting their young athletes. They can also take the opportunity to exchange information between professionals and learn more about what is being done in other countries. The exchange is continuous.

This is a characteristic of judo, which fully corresponds to the values conveyed by our sport. Indeed, in judo we do not keep things for ourselves, we share them with the greatest number possible. It is then up to the coaches to make their own sauce and find the miracle recipe to make their judoka grow physically and mentally as well as, as human beings. If there is a secret, it is in the assembly of all knowledge that it resides. But everything is there, on the tatami, in self-service, ready to use for and by everyone.

Leandra Freitas, IJF Sport Commission, Assistant to the Head Sport Director, present on site, took the opportunity to ask participants what they think and feel about being there.

Master class with Katanishi Sensei

Ovini Uera is the Nauru coach, supported by the IJF and Olympic Solidarity. He said "We are really grateful for having the opportunity to be here engaging with the training camp with the support of the IJF. The two students from Nauru are really learning a lot and gaining good experience, good training, high level judo. It's very different from what they get at home in Nauru. They have the opportunity to meet a lot of people from different countries, with different techniques. This is really helping their judo, helping to develop their own techniques."

Fady El Saikaly, coach of Lebanon, said, "Everything goes well. We are training three times a day: morning, afternoon and evening. It's a good occasion for our judoka to prepare for the Cadet World Championships in Croatia next month. I hope everything continues to go well as we still have a few days before the end of the camp. Thanks to the IJF for the opportunity and we hope that in the future we'll bring even more Lebanese judoka here."

Bright Maddaloni Nosa (ITA) is 20 years old and is already building a name in judo, step by step, after his older brother Pino Maddaloni became Olympic champion in Sydney in 2000, before even he was born. "I am really happy to be here. I am here to prepare for the next main events. I have a lot of partners to train with and I can do a lot of randori. It's a really beautiful place here."

Bright Maddaloni Nosa and his coach Enrico Parlati

His coach, Enrico Parlati added, "I am from Napoli and am really happy to be here with my athletes. Thank you to the organisers who asked me to lead three technical sessions, with all the judoka. It is a very good camp. We do a lot of randori with high level people. It's also really nice to be here in the mountains with the fresh air because back at home it is very hot. It's the perfect place to prepare for the upcoming competitions.

Binta Ndiaye (SUI)

Last year, we met Binta Ndiaye in Guayaquil, where she won a junior world championships bronze medal ( She is also in Fiesch, "I'm 18 years old, junior second year and I am a member of the Swiss national team. I am preparing for the Masters one week from now. I am really happy to be here. I come every year. All my training partners are here too. There are a lot of foreign teams and the level is quite high; it’s ideal to prepare for the Masters. I am also really happy to have here my first coach, Katanishi Sensei, who delivered some of the technical sessions."

Philippe Lain Nau

Philippe Lain Nau is one of the organisers of the camp, "My feeling is really good. We have a great atmosphere around the athletes, all at a good level. The Slovenian national team is here, Bulgaria as well. Nils Stump (SUI), who was crowned world champion in Doha this year, is here, Daniel Eich and Fabienne Kocher as well. This is a good experience for the young ones. For the teams supported by the IJF and Olympic Solidarity, it is a good opportunity to discover the high level. Everyone will go back home with good memories. We will have the chance to take everyone to the Eggishorn glacier so they can discover one of the jewels of our mountains, which is in danger because of global warming. For many participants, they have no clue what a cable car is, so they will discover that too. For the athletes it's good to learn more about judo techniques from other countries, so they can see something different from what they do with they coach all year long. They are all very enthusiastic.

Team Montenegro

Last but not least, Jelena Sutovic is the coach for Montenegro. She explained the benefits of the camp, "I came here with two young athletes. We are training very hard and they are really satisfied with this training camp. It's good preparation for the next competitions. As a coach, I am also learning a lot from other coaches and big judo names."

The list of happy people goes on and on. For more than eight years Fiesch has become the centre for many exchanges between nations, coaches and judoka. Surrounded by incredible nature, all the participants are in the best conditions to discover, learn and evolve. This applies to the athletes and also to the coaches. The camp is running until Sunday and for sure, everyone is already looking forward to future editions.

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