More girls take up judo

HARARE - The Judo Association of Zimbabwe (Jaz) says they pleased with the high number of local female judokas set to participate at the African Union Sports Council Region V Games.

The Games will be held in Bulawayo from December 4 to 14.

Jaz president Debbie Jeans said they are delighted to have more female judokas in their team for the Games.

“The girls have been selected for judo from Girls High School rugby team and have shown enthusiasm in their brand new sport of judo,” said Jeans.

“Pat Warren is the official women’s coach and is ably assisted by all the other coaches; together they have done an excellent job of getting women’s judo off the ground in Zimbabwe.

“Every week sees new girls wanting to join in the judo classes; hopefully this will be the start of a whole new era.”

Jeans says that one of the Jaz objectives this year is capacity building in schools and recruiting more female judokas.

“We want to build a female team and recruiting more judokas in Zimbabwe,” said the two-time Zimbabwe Olympian.

“Bulawayo used to be home to international judo champions and Olympians. Derek Ells (was also a South African Champion) and Mike Job (both went to Munich Olympics 1972), Francois Fyfer, Johnny Dewet and Dan Van Der Byl (all of whom went to the Moscow Olympics) and Mike Wells (first black belt ever to be graded in the country).

“Perhaps the Games will reignite people of Matabeleland to consider re-starting this wonderful martial art and Olympic sport through schools, clubs or at NUST and strive for excellence once again on the international judo mat.”

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