Ten days, 1,000 kilometres and 2,500 happy judokas later and the first stage of the “Judo Educational Journey Through China” drew to a successful close at the iconic Great Wall earlier this month.
Bringing the martial art to young people across the country, the tour, run by the International Judo Federation and the Chinese Judo Association, aimed to reach out to children and young people who are less familiar with the sport and introduce them to the values judo teaches by staging workshops in schools, universities, clubs, training centres and public spaces, hosted by Olympic and world champions.
Tong Wen, Olympic and World Champion and XU Lili, Silver Medallist in London
A 15-strong group from the Chinese Judo Association accompanied the tour, including decorated Olympic and world champions Tong Wen and Xian Dongmei, who were on hand to share their advice with the young athletes and teach them about the Olympic values.
Speaking about the project, Tong said: “The tour offered me the opportunity to discover a new dimension of my beloved sport. For many years, I have been focusing on top level, but now I can see that judo is more than a sport, it is an educational tool.”
The tour, supported by Olympic Solidarity and the Chinese National Olympic Committee, will visit new cities in 2014 before finishing in Nanjing ahead of the second Youth Olympic Games in August.