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Ruben Houkes

Olympic Bronze Medallist & Judo for Children Commission Member

ORGANISATION: International Judo Federation

Ruben Houkes is a former professional judoka. He won the title of World Champion at the 2007 World Judo Championships and a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. During his career in sports, Houkes worked for an advertising agency in the Netherlands.

In 2004, Houkes started grassroots sports marketing agency 2Basics Marketing & Sports, which helps corporations amplify their brands and business and activate sponsorships using grassroots sports. The agency also works with sports federations to encourage more people to get involved in their sports. In 2010, Houkes was named Sports Marketer of the Year.

Houkes also founded the award-winning Schooljudo programme, an initiative running in 400 primary schools, reaching over 45,000 children every year in the Netherlands. The programme’s goal is to use the values of judo to teach children skills for life. In 2013, Houkes helped develop and launch the International Judo Federation’s Judo for Children Commission to bring the experiences, ideas and values of judo to as many young people around the world as possible.

Houkes is a board member of Spieren voor Spieren, an NGO for children with muscle diseases.


The speakers

Using the unique power of sport to bring people together, the Olympism in Action Forum sees a range of global players, including Olympic Movement stakeholders, athletes, private and public sector leaders, NGO representatives, academics, artists and the media come together to talk on topical contemporary issues. Chosen because of their ability to effect change and their wide range of sometimes differing opinions, the speakers will lead lively debates and seek to challenge received wisdom to inspire new ways of thinking.

Meet the speakers.
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