Participants of Shalva’s Judo school participated in the official opening ceremony for the European Judo Championship and lead a demo practice for the audience. Among all the Judo players who participated in the three day fight for the championship, was a group, a little bit different that everyone else – 10 young trainees with disabilities from Shalva.

The children took part in the official opening ceremony of the Championship together with 10 other young Judo players. During the opening ceremony, Shalva’s children were invited on stage together with Miri Regev, Minister of Sport and Culture, Moshe Ponte, head of the Israeli Judo Association, Marius Vizer, IJC head and Sergey Soloveychik, President of the European Judo Union.

The children presented Minister Regev with a judo belt on which they drew images related to the world of martial arts. She accepted it warmly and tied it around her waste. Additionally, they led demo practices for an audience of thousands of observers during the breaks between fights.

The Judo school at Shalva opened about eight months ago in the merit of the Olympic medalist, Ori Sasson, a dear member of the organization. Ori donated his Judo jacket with which he won a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Shalva auctioned off the jacket for $100,000 and the money was put towards establishing the Judo school. The children in the program practice once a week with their trainer Gadi Ben-Lulu, a certified Judo professional and have already reached the yellow belt level.