'LBA' appears from time to time on the back number of Libyan athletes, but there is no doubt that in the future it will be more and more visible. For that, there is one reason: the brand new dojo that was inaugurated in the capital city of Tripoli. Gurji Street will thus become the unavoidable preferred address of any judoka in the country.
Today, from cadets to senior categories, 120 athletes are already training there regularly. The venue is especially used as the training centre for cadets.
Several months have passed since the official grand opening on 1st February 2022 and the installation is in full swing. "The total area of the dojo is 2500m2. It includes two halls, two tatami that can accommodate more than fifty athletes at the same time. There are also several other facilities: meeting room, first aid room, cafeteria, dressing rooms, sauna, bathroom, swimming pool, and an office," explains Mousa Aghil.
The project was initially supported by the Ministry of Sports. Personal efforts of the members of the federation and the IJF, which sent tatami, also helped to make sure that the dojo would be built.
"We contacted the International Judo Federation asking for their support and the organisation provided us with two full tatami and 200 judo suits. The IJF also covered the cost for a national team coach. It was very good support and we hope for more in the future to bring Libyan judo up to its best level," adds the President.
Beyond the traditional judo session and the cadet training centre, the facility is used for training courses for judo coaches, refereeing seminars, local championships and training camps for the national team.
"Today we can count on around 1500 athletes in Libya, spread across 15 clubs. Judo has a good impact on young people and keeps them away from conflict. Since we opened the centre, the technical level is developing constantly and there will be results in the coming period. We also expect to have a presence in the next Olympiad,” concludes Mousa Aghil.
This is all we can wish judo in Libya. After years of hardship, judo is giving new hope to many young people in the country. Having the chance to benefit from the new training centre will help to put the country back on the map, in Africa and in the world.