Written by Thea Cowen on 20 Jan 2024, Photographs by Tino Maric

Both IJF Coaching and Education Director, Mohamed MERIDJA and IJF Education Director Sanda CORAK opened the afternoon session on the IJF Referee and Coach Seminar, highlighting the IJF Academy and the goal to increase the number of certified instructors. 

Going in to the details of the IJF Academy was Chair of the Institution, Envic GALEA.

” In 2013, this course was introduced with 12 participants, now 11 years on, it has become a tremendous success, based in five continents, 165 countries and over 3000 coaches certified. A huge benefit for coaches now is that the course is available in 14 languages.”

Head of the Institution, Tibor KOZLA and Sport and Refereeing Director, Daniel LASCAU, who were the founders, can now celebrate the 114th course as of last week in Havana, Cuba. 

Following on from the conclusion of the IJF Academy, Vladimir BARTA covered the sporting topics, firstly addressing the upcoming world championships in Abu Dhabi. Usually an eight-day event, this year the individual competition will be reduced to five days with the mixed team event concluding the now six-day event. 

The rules remain the same for the world qualification, the top 100 world ranked senior athletes will earn a place, with the first qualification day being April 1st, following the Antalya Grand Slam. On the 13th of May the list will be revised to include those in the top 100 WRL following the Kazakhstan Grand Slam, and this is when seeding will be decided. Also noted were the top 16 world ranked junior athletes will be eligible to compete in Abu Dhabi as indicated in the list on the 26th of March. 

 “These world championships will almost 100% indicate the qualified athletes, however the continental open events following will affect the continental quota. “

Discussing the Olympic Games, Barta stated that all will remain the same, except that five places will be taken from the original 20 wild cards for the mixed team event. This has been decided to try and increase the number of federations in this event. This if course does not include the refugee team.