The International Judo Federation (IJF) have sent judo uniforms to children in war-torn Somalia in an effort to promote peace in the African country.
The IJF sent 20 competition judogi, 50 training judogi and 150 children’s judogi to help youngsters get into competitive judo, a gesture which was well received by the Somali Judo Federation (SJF).
General secretary of the SJF Mohamoud Ibrahim Hassan said: “For us, it is so important. “It shows that we are strongly supported by our international federation. “With that help, we will be able to start our training programme and get ready to participate in world competitions in the future.
“Due to the difficult situation in the region, it has not been easy to organise the sport but today, the federation is happy to say that there are already a few clubs in the country.
“They still need to be structured and developed but this is a very good first step. “The judogi received from the IJF will be of great help.”
SJF President Jurshe Abdullahi Mohamed said the anarchic nature of the country’s Government in recent times made it difficult for previous generations to get into the sport, but he believes they now have the chance thanks to the IJF’s help.
“There are a huge number of Somali young people who are interested in our sport,” he said. “So far they could not really practice but this time we will let them know that it’s possible and we will let their dream happen.
“After a long period of war and anarchy in Somalia, there are so many generations who missed the possibility to practice sport and have fun doing it. “We will offer them that chance.
“The federation is now looking for new judoka to come join the judo family.
“As the federation representatives underlined, this donation is really the starting point of a new adventure.
“There is already a good number of young children who are interested in the activity.