The International Judo Federation was represented by Mr Jean-Luc Rougé, IJF General Secretary, the government by Mr Adkham Ikramov, Minister of Sports Development, Ms Agrippina Shin, Minister of Preschool Education and Mr Bakhtiyor Saidov, Minister of Education and the Judo Federation of Uzbekistan by President Azizjon Kamilov.
The five-party memorandum of understanding will help reinforce the presence of judo at the preschool and school level, driving the development of mass sports. The ceremony also offered all the stakeholders an opportunity to evaluate this World Championship.
Mr Rougé said, "We had a fantastic world championships and in the name of our President, Marius Vizer, I'd like to congratulate you. It is a good image for judo. Our sport is also a school of life, so it is natural to have a strong cooperation with educational authorities. Judo was born as a martial art and a system of education that helps the development of the body and the mind. Judo has strong social and health impacts. Together we can work on the society of tomorrow."
Mr Ikramov declared, "Thank you to all who were present during this week. Our first judo world championships is coming to en end. We had 82 countries here in Tashkent. All the feedback I had was positive. I want to thank the government of Uzbekistan for making this success a reality. We won two gold medals and we are among the top three nations.
Our prime minister was present during the opening ceremony and our president visited the event. The competition was broadcast in 190 countries around the world and we had a strong presence on Euronews. This is big for us! I want to thank all my colleagues for everything they did. Today with this memorandum of understanding and in the wake of the World Championship, we want to attract more people to judo at school level. Today more than 2 million people practise sports at school. I thank Mr Marius Vizer, IJF President, and Mr Azizjon Kamilov for all the help they provide."
Ms Shin said, "Bringing judo to school is very important. We want it to become a mass sport in our country. We have 35 preschools that are very soon going to start judo. I am convinced that the victories of our champions here in Tashkent will attract many children to the sport."
Mr Saidov added, "This MoU is a very important project. Everyone is happy about judo here now. We already built 13 dojos across the country that are ready to be used for educational activities. We have more than 10,000 schools all over the Uzbekistan and 6.4 million children are attending school. The potential is huge and this programme is important for the whole population."
Mr Kamilov concluded, "We are keen to develop mass sport and to involve more children. We delivered tatami and judogi to the schools already and I hope that one day we'll have more champions coming from the programme."
At the end of the ceremony, the guests exchanged gifts.