The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), the governing body of judo for athletes with visual impairments, has renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Judo Federation (IJF).
The agreement, signed on Thursday (20 September) covers a range of themes for developing IBSA Judo including organising events and growing and promoting the sport.
It follows on from the previous MoU signed in 2014 under which the IJF have already provided support and expertise at IBSA Judo competitions.
A feature of the renewed agreement is that the two organisations will start to work together on the potential future integration of judo for athletes with visual impairments into the IJF. As part of this there will be a continuous close cooperation with IBSA on the specific needs of athletes.
Increasing participation in developing countries is another cornerstone of the refreshed MoU. This will include working with specialist schools all around the world.
The document was signed at the 2018 IJF Judo World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, by IBSA President Jannie Hammershoi and IJF President Marius Vizer.
“This new MoU represents a major step forward for IBSA Judo and I would like to thank Mr. Vizer and his colleagues for their close cooperation,” Hammershoi said. “In our discussions over the past months it is clear to me that the IJF have a great vision of one global judo family.
“They have already shown that they are willing to provide practical help to achieve that goal and now we have had a very positive exchange of new ideas.
“The renewed agreement is the start of a project that could lead to great things for IBSA Judo, but it will take time to develop and nothing will be taken forward without close consultation with our members.
“We are really excited to see it in action over the coming months and years, and to keeping everyone informed and involved in the process. We hope it will deliver fantastic progress for athletes and the sport.”
“I am very pleased to extend this MoU,” Vizer commented. “Both our organisations share the same values and it is important to continue to support IBSA in this long-term ongoing relationship because they are member of the big judo family.”
Potential projects and actions under the new MoU centre around the continued organisation of joint IJF and IBSA Judo events; integration of IBSA Judo personnel into IJF forums, events and activities; referee and coach training by IBSA experts; media and communications support and the recruitment of sighted athletes as ambassadors.