I am honoured to welcome you in the name of the Judo Association of Slovenia to the European Judo Championship for juniors 2017. I am also extremely thankful to European Judo Association for choosing our country to host such a great event.
This is already the 7th competition that has been organised under the Judo Association of Slovenia. This year, we will try again to welcome you as best as we can. It has been exactly 20 years since we organised our first competition – the European Judo Championship for juniors in Ljubljana. Due to the large number of sport events in Maribor, our town is becoming the Slovenian capital of sports. Maribor also hosted European Championship for members in 2002.
Dear Judo friends, through the championship we would like to show you the beauty of our country and our town, especially to sports public in Slovenia, to show the great details of our sport.
I wish you a pleasant stay in our town, a lot of success and an unforgettable experience in Maribor.
Welcome to Slovenia, welcome to Maribor.
Slovenian Judo Federation
Dear Judo Friends,
On behalf of the European Judo Union I take particular pleasure in being able to welcome participants, officials and spectators to these Junior European Judo Championships being staged this year in Maribor, Slovenia.
By participating in such events, young people gain not only valuable competitive experience but also the opportunity to meet and familiarize themselves with other youngsters and to visit and learn about new places.
The importance of an event of this significance to the promotion and development of a nation’s judo programme cannot be overstated. The Slovenian Judo Federation is no stranger to the staging of international judo events, so too the city of Maribor and this continued involvement as a host has undoubtedly played a part in its phenomenal success at European, world and Olympic level.
I wish all those involved the very best of luck, success, enjoyment and a memorable experience in Maribor.
Welcome to the most beautiful city in Slovenia.
As a mayor of Slovenia’s second largest city it is an honor to welcome you at the European Junior Championships in Judo. Maribor is a city of development and opportunities. From a former industrial city it has developed into a university, sports, tourist and cultural center. There is a powerful creative charge in the city, new programs and projects are born.
In 2017 we applied for the Maribor – the European City of Sports 2018 project, with our aim to become a sport-friendly place for all citizens, daily visitors, sports tourism, professional sports teams and people with disabilities with the initiative “disability-friendly city.”
Our vision is to develop sports tourism, sports infrastructure, sports programs and exercise, as we have excellent conditions for this. The European City of Sports 2018 would therefore contribute greatly to promotion of sports exercise and the city as a sport destination among citizens, athletes in the region, Europe and the rest of the world.
Therefore, welcome to the open, sporty Maribor. We are glad that you are here and we will do everything to make you feel great in the embrace of Pohorje.
Andrej Fištravec, M.A.
Mayor of Maribor
Dear young judokas!
When judo was founded, there were 9 of his students in Tokyo, today, after 135 years, there are already millions all over the World and judo has become one of the most popular sports. The International judo federation is by number of members the third in the world, just after football and athletics. In Slovenia, judo is at the very top in results, as well as in its massiveness and a wide organization. The 78 clubs include between 4000 and 5000 members, the vast majority of young people, who achieve top results at the largest competitions at home and abroad. Olympic successes of our judokas in recent years have increased the popularity of this sport in Slovenia.
Results in sport are important and judo provides young judokas with much more. Young people develop motility and control of their body through judo, gain self-esteem, sense of order and discipline, respect, persistence, responsibility, working habits and participation in a group, since judo is based on specific ethical principles. These principles educate young people in the spirit of friendship. The beauty of this sport is that competitors have a high mutual commitment to respect, which is a wonderful virtue in today’s time and has a significant impact on the way of life of our younger generations. The founder of judo, Jigoro Kano, believes that judo allows the most effective use of physical and mental strength. By practicing attacks and defense, the body and spirit glorify, the spiritual essence of judo becomes a part of the inner self. In this way judokas can fulfill themselves and contribute to the world’s values, which is the ultimate goal of judo.
This year’s European Junior Championships takes place in Maribor, which already hosted a big competition 15 years ago – European Judo Championships for Seniors. At that time, the rebirth of Slovenian judo, which has became a top sport in Slovenia, has begun. It is only after three years that the organization of the European Junior Championships returns to Slovenia. It is no coincidence that this year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the organization of the first European Junior Championships in Slovenia, which was held in Ljubljana in 1997. Based on the rich experience and supported by great sport successes in recent years, I believe that this championships are a great opportunity for our young judokas to prove themselves on an European level once again, since some of them will use this competition as an excellent foundation for the next Olympic Games.
Educating youngsters in sports is fundamental for the development of sport and the continuous achievement of success. In this the Slovenian Judo Federation is one of the most successful sports associations in Slovenia, therefore allow me to congratulate the organization on its 65th anniversary of successful work and sports achievements so far, and I also wish all the best for the future.
To you, dear participants of the European Junior Championships in Judo, I wish a lot of sports successes as well as personal goals achieved.
Dejan Zidan, M.Sc.
Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia and Chairman of the Organizing Committee