Dusseldorf , 19 February 2015. During a press conference just after the drawing of the Judo Grandprix in Dusseldorf, the successful judo project “Judo for Ethiopians” was presented by the initiative taker and USIP TC member Mr Hannes Daxbacher from Germany. Mr. Daxbacher read the statement that Mr. Wilfried Lemke, the Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, sent: “Judo is primarily seen through the ‘Judo-values’ such as respect, responsibility, or the equal rights of men and women and not only as an Olympic combat sport”.

Representatives of the International Judo Federation (IJF), German Judo Federation, German Government and National Olympic Committee , Ethiopian Government and USIP were attending this press conference. Mr. Peter Frese, the German Judo Federation President and also a Judo for Peace commissioner, expressed his feelings with emotion in his voice: “Thanks to Hannes Daxbacher, we are able to help our Ethiopian brothers. During the Grand Prix, we will collect Judogi that will be donated to Ethiopia. If it looks small from our point of view, we know that it represents a lot for our friends. This is what judo is all about.”

Dr. Tsegaye DEGINEH, President Judo & Ju-Jitsu in Ethiopia and Vice-president Ju-Jitsu African Union, was very proud about the reached goals and the international support as well as for  the first participation of two Ethiopian Judoka in a Judo Grand Prix and in Germany / Dusseldorf. He thanked the National Ethiopian Olympic Committee for their support.

Hannes Daxbacher started a few years ago with his initiative to support the youth and people of Ethiopia with teaching judo on location in Ethiopia. The start of his initiative was very difficult; there were no facilities to teach judo and the judo students had no proper judo outfits. Now a couple of years later with support of the German Government , the German Judo Federation and the USIP ( USIP Foundation “Hold my Hand”) Mr Hannes Daxbacher was able to improve the circumstances of the judo teaching in Ethiopia. He managed with help of the Judo Federation of Germany to organize judo mats (Tatami) and new judo outfits ( Judogi). After the successful support of this project the Ethiopian National Judo association could send 2 Ethiopian Judokas for the first time to the Grandprix in Dusseldorf. The Judo for Ethiopians project is together with the Pegasus project in Brazil  (Taekwondo school) an example of the successful USIP “Hold my Hand” foundation to support the community and people with special needs with sport organised by police officers.

See also the IJF press release, click here!