IJF staff, referees, coaches and officials were among those who gathered on the stage to show the white card on a day when a group of refugees from the small town of Kilis were given an access all areas tour by by Nicolas Messner, Judo for Peace Director, Mehmet Yilmaz, Competition Manager of the Turkish Judo Federation and Panama star Miryam Roper who fought on Friday.
The well wishes and positive emotions of the children left a lasting impression for those in the stadium and their attendance, ahead of a new series of Judo for Peace activities next week, was appreciated by all.
Ahead of the final block, guests of honour from the IJF and Turkish Judo Federation joined the Antalya Governor Mr. Münir Karaloglu on the stage for the opening ceremony.
Turkish Judo Federation President Mr. Sezer Huysuz said: “Dear governor, dear President Vizer, dear judo family, we are very happy to welcome you to Antalya, the pearl of Turkey. I would like to wish the best to all 481 judoka from 75 nations who are working towards Tokyo 2020. I wish you a great time in Turkey in our beautiful nation and I hope you go on to share many memories from Antalya.”
Governor Mr. Münir Karaloglu said: “Dear President Vizer, dear President Huysuz, dear athletes, fans and everyone here, we are very happy to have you here in capital of tourism in Turkey, Antalya, welcome to you all. Antalya is tourist capital of Turkey and we would like to have more events here in the future.
Yesterday in the tourism fair of Antalya, we made an agreement all together between the IJF, TJF and Ministry of Youth and Sport to deliver judo in schools as part of the educational system across Turkey.
“The Antalya Grand Prix is very important as it counts towards Olympic qualification. I wish everyone success and a lot of enjoyment here in Turkey.”
Mr. Marius L. Vizer, IJF President, said: “Dear Governor, Dear President Huysuz, dear judo fans, it’s a great occasion to be here in Antalya once again. We have an active and successful social project here in Kilis and we’ve signed an agreement for a judo in schools program in partnership with the Turkish Judo Federation and the Ministry of Sport.
“I want to thank the Governor of Antalya and Turkish Ministry of Sport for supporting our event, as well I thank the IJF staff because they had many events and are doing a great job for our sport. Thank you to the young fans and nice public of Antalya, I wish all of you a successful competition and I open the Grand Prix here in Antalya.”