AJU launches first Africa Club championships

President Sissoko announces first African Club Championships and the awarding of the 2019 African Veteran, Senior and Kata Judo Championships to South Africa 

The President of the African Judo Union gives us his impressions of development projects in the world of judo in Africa. Mr. Habib Sissoko, who is currently at the 39th African Championships 2018 in Tunis, talks about his vision and talks about major projects for the year 2019. He announced that the 2019 Senior African Championships has been awarded to South Africa and which will include the first African Veteran Championships. The AJU will continue with the organization of the African Champions Clubs Championships next year. A commission is working to produce an operational action plan for African Judo. President Sissoko draws attention to the development seminar that was held in Casablanca last December, which he said was a resounding success. Habib Sissoko reflects on the principles of good governance that he has with the new team of the AJU apply at all levels. Mr Sissoko addresses a special word to IJF President Marius Vizer for his action and support for Africa.

What is your assessment of competitions organized in Africa?

We are pleased to see a growing number of international and continental competitions organized in Africa. For only last year, apart from the African Championships Senior / Cadet and Juniors, we have hosted in Africa 4 Open competitions held respectively in Tunis, Casablanca, Dakar and Yaounde. During the first quarter of the current year, we have hosted two major prestigious competitions included in the IJF World Tour namely the Grand Prix of Tunis and that of Agadir. Our respective governments have become aware of the educational role that judo can play in our societies and its dynamic vocation in the construction of citizenship. Our sport carries a lot of values and it is up to us to work in a sustained way and ensure their dissemination and anchoring in the youth environment. We have a permanent moral duty towards our youth. We are very conscious of our mission and we assume it with great rigor and commitment.

What are your assessments of the African Senior Championships in Tunisia?

For the African Championships currently taking place in Tunis, I noted with great satisfaction the large number of athletes taking part. The number of women is growing significantly. We are not far from the goal of equity that we expect to achieve as soon as possible in accordance with the guidelines of our President of the International Federation, Mr. Marius VIZER. I must seize this opportunity to renew to him my best compliments of thanks and appreciation for all the continued support he is giving to Africa.

The different fights that we have followed during this competition augur well for the qualifications for the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan, which are scheduled to start next May at the Grand Prix of Hothot in China. This competition is an excellent stage of preparation for our valiant athletes who have set themselves the ambition to snatch a qualification for the next Olympics. I encourage them to work hard and in a regular and assiduous way to ensure a place for this Olympic event. I would also like to congratulate the Tunisian Federation for all its efforts to ensure a quality competition and an organization that lives up to our expectations and trust.

The AJU organized a seminar on development in December 2017. This operation was crowned with great success; what do you think about his issue?

In fact, we organized a major seminar on development in Casablanca from 21 to 23 December 2018, with the financial support of the IJF, which saw the participation of 41 countries. It was far from imagining beforehand to have so many seminarians. Our 1st Vice President in charge of technical aspects with the assistance of our Director of Education and Coaching have taken good care of this operation included in the 2017-2020 quadrennial development plan of the AJU. Four renowned international experts led this seminar. Our friends from the Royal Moroccan Judo Federation have worked hard to meet the best conditions and contribute to the success of this major training operation organized for our coaches. We have witnessed high level interventions for which our representatives have made the most of them. For the first time, our seminarians were able to follow a live video conference from the city of London. We received good feedback from our stakeholders who highlighted the need to reiterate this operation. We have already initiated the first steps to republish this seminar, which has been very beneficial and of great benefit to our coaching community.

What are your plans for next year?

We planned to organize on the sidelines of the 2019 Senior African Championships awarded to South Africa, the first African Veteran Championships. We want to create a platform for communication and exchanges between old and new generations of athletes. We also want the old judokas to meet again and again in their past which is certainly full of adventures, common experiences, memories and friendship.

We have registered to organize for the first time the African Championships Clubs. We have set up a commission to evaluate this perspective and propose an operational action plan.

Given the success of the development seminar we organized in Casablanca, we have planned to host the 2nd edition next year. We are eager to obtain financial support from the IJF.

On the other hand, we have set ourselves the ambition of strengthening the application of the principles of good governance in our financial management. We are happy and fortunate that our Treasurer has a financial profile. We apply all the ideas he suggests to us to guarantee a rational management of our resources which come to us a great majority from the International Judo Federation. We plan to strengthen our contractual relationship with the IJF to promote more coordinated and professional working relationships. The IJF expects a lot from us. We are aware of it. We are an arm of leverage and a production tool driven by performance. We must prove that we live up to the trust placed in us.

What does Africa need?

Africa first needs to work hard. We have very important missions and obligations towards the development of sport and the development of our youth. Serious work is the only guarantee of success. It's true that we need resources to support our efforts. But if you do not have the base, all the resources that will be available to you will be useless and probably not used wisely. Every development project is based on organization and discipline. We need to plan our actions and evaluate our results on a regular basis. It is by correcting our imperfections that we can fit into an upward curve of development. Africa must unite and coordinate its efforts if it wants to set great ambitions for the future. We have the largest youth population on our continent. This is a real strength to address all the challenges we face. We are an old continent. We have the wisdom and experience of life. If we rely on each other and work in perfect synergy, we will achieve wonders. As the saying goes, "hard work overcomes all obstacles. Give your hand to work, not to almsgiving. "