This high level ceremony with only a few prize recipients was held in Villa Hammerschmidt in Bonn, the official residence of the president of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The German Minister for Development Affairs, Dr. Gerd Müller, spoke with great pleasure about the humanitarian efforts of the German volunteers. He was supported by his Secretary of State, Dr. Maria Flachsbarth.
"We are supporting people who dedicate their life with dignity, and where the strong ones take part with responsibility and help, share and give to the people in need. Your work is exemplary for the realization of the 17 development goals of United Nations. You are all great personalities, you are role models for your credibility and your life's work", welcomed the German Minister.
"Judo and development is a strong couple - like Mr. Johannes and Ms. Regina Daxbacher. With their long-lasting humanitarian engagement for Judo both empower values like respect, sense of responsibility and courage. For this I want to thank you. Please keep going on your precious work", said the German Minister Dr. Gerd Müller.
Mrs. and Mr. Daxbacher have been working for more than 10 years in Ethiopia to establish a national Judo organization. Through the 'Judo for Ethiopians' programme, they teach Judo, but they also organize the transport of Judo equipments in the country a and they are highly committed to promote democratic values and gender equity aspects.
For many years, Johannes has been an active member of the IJF military and police commission and participated in many meetings with leaders of Ethiopian Police
to discuss the subject of 'Judo as a tool for a smarter conflict resolution for Police forces'. Last year, he visited for the first time as an IJF-representative the Sudanese Judo Federation.
The fact that a Government is supporting 'Judo as a tool for development and peace' is most likely unique. Through the Prize ceremony, and the award presented to the Judo-couple Johannes and Regina Daxbacher, the German Government underlined that 'Judo for Ethiopians' is part of its global initiative called 'More space for Sport - 1.000 chances for Africa'.
"This makes us feel very happy, because this award and prize from the German Government is a great thank you to all the people who supported us and a great way to reinforce the global reputation of the IJF and its engagement towards Judo for Peace and development", said Johannes and Regina who were very impressed and touched.