It is well-known that world-class judoka are not only champions with a lot of medals, they are also human beings with big hearts. This was proven once again by the 2017 world champion Alexander Wieczerzak of Germay, who held a masterclass for Ukrainian children finding refuge in Wiesbaden.

For Alexander Wieczerzak, it was a first,  “My philosophy in life is to give something back. That’s why I always try to be active in my club as often as possible and to really promote to the children the art of judo. I was surprised especially by the children’s motivation. I saw the ambition in their eyes and the fun in practising judo as well. This reminded me a lot of myself when I was their age. It made me very happy.”

First Alexander started with the basics of the sport but quickly realised that the children had already mastered them, so he went up a level. Next, he added the details, showing how to open the grip, the best foot position and special techniques in all directions, “I already met the children and coaches from Ukraine a few weeks ago. We got into a conversation. Their story and their escape from Ukraine to Wiesbaden touched me emotionally.

The children have been in Germany without their parents for almost a year, in a new country where they don’t know the language and they don’t even know if they will ever be allowed to go back home. It is such an incredible pressure. I have the biggest respect for this and my club JC Wiesbaden 1922 e.V, the city too and our president Philipp Eckelmann. We support them as much as we can.”

After the masterclass Alexander Wieczerzak encouraged the children to continue to be as strong and motivated as they are, “The judo family is there for them and we stick together and support each other. This is judo!”

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