Turikumwe in Chad

The Marriage of Sport and Education!

Our first container arrives in N'Djamena

Our container with all the equipment has just arrived in N'Djamena after a long journey. The warehouse, which has been made available by the French Embassy and the commitment of Patrick Bonfils from the French Cooperation, is now full of supplies. More than a week was necessary to sort everything out. The first equipment will be sent to Abéché, in the North-East of the country. 50 tatamis will be delivered by the French Army (Epervier) - a noble gesture from them - that will allow us to develop our sport in a region which was badly affected by the nearby Darfour conflict. Many refugee camps are present in that region and judo will help us to build a better society.

35°C, the city of N’Djamena is waking up under a blazing sun. Dust fills the streets of the Chadian capital. But early in the morning, the judoka who take part in the 2nd edition of the International Tournament of the city of N’Djamena do not really care about the weather.

They are already focused on the upcoming competition. Organized by the Chadian Judo Federation, led by its dynamic president, Abakar Djerma, the tournament is beginning to acquire a certain reputation in the region and is especially a good practical exercise for the organizing committee, which has worked for many weeks to ensure the success of the meeting. This type of competition is important for federations that often have financial and logistical problems. It helps to acquire the necessary experience to participate in higher levels of competition (continental and international). The results achieved by the Chadian federation perfectly illustrate the work undertaken during recent years. Indeed, two judoka from N’Djamena have now joined the Olympic Training Centre in Algiers. The young Carine Ngarlemdana, before joining the center supported and promoted by the IJF, won a bronze medal at the African Junior Championships last year. She now has the Olympic dream in mind.

Beyond the Difficulties: Developing a Fairer Society

Organizing such a tournament is not easy. The financial and logistical issues and the fact that foreign delegations have difficulty getting around do not help to organize an international competition. Nevertheless, besides the desire to do as good as possible, it is clear that a certain know-how already appeared this year on the occasion of this second edition. Beyond the sporting dimension of the tournament, which is important, this event turns the spotlights on the political development of judo throughout the region. A great potential exists in Africa and especially in that region, but it still needs to be transformed into reality and into significant places of honor at the international level. Today the Chadian Federation took the problem head-on with ambition. If these ambitions are naturally focused on the sport aspects, they are also primarily educational. To afford its ambitions, it needs to provide financial and logistical means, but it must also focus on developing the practice of judo around the country. Judo is starting to have some media coverage in Chad and it is not Nicolas Messner, the IJF Media and Communication Director, who will contradict this point. In N’Djamena, he was able to have an engaging exchange with thirty representatives from the national press (TV, radio, press) who showed interest in the development of judo and have thoroughly enjoyed the fact that the IJF came to meet with them directly, to explain what the practice of judo is and how it could help to develop a fairer society.

Judo is a Different Activity

While the fighters were engaged with strength and respect on the tatami, discussions and exchanges took place to explain, again and again, how judo is a very different activity from any other sport and this message was well understood by all the actors of sports. At the same time, a container, which left from Strasbourg in France in early January, is continuing its way and should soon arrive in the capital with several tons of equipment on board, including tatami, but also judogi, computers and school books to equip educational institutions. This is also what judo is. This shipment is part of the Judo for Peace Program of the International Judo Federation. Part of this material will be transported to the eastern area of the country, in the region of Abeche, and will allow an expansion of judo in an area heavily affected by regional conflicts. The shipping of the first container to Chad has been made possible through the active support of French cooperation and the personal commitment of Patrick Bonfils, Technical Assistant of the French Cooperation, Advisor to the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports but was also possible through the logistical and financial support of the French Army and a private shipping company, SDV, perfectly illustrating the synergy that can and must be implemented to obtain useful results in the field. In the days preceding the tournament, Fred Barthélémy, an active member of the Judo for Peace Commission, had also supervised a technical course with the national team, while Hedi Mhirsi, President of the Tunisian Judo Federation and a member of the Refereeing Commission of the African Judo Union, ran a major training course for referees. The development of judo in Chad, but also in much of Africa is at this price. The secretary general of the African Judo Union, Andre Angwe, who was also present in Chad during the weekend will not deny it: more consistency throughout the system must be insured, promoting judo through events will ensure education and quality training. This work is ongoing, with the support of all.

© CACI | Webmaster | Privacy guidelines | Created and offered by 2exVia with MasterEdit® | Graphism Nico Messner