Judo trainers to land in Varanasi
For rising judokas of UP, a professional training hand from Land of Judo, Japan will be a reality in 2011.
A professional judo coach from Mecca of Judo (Kodokan Judo University in Tokyo) is likely to make it to India in 2011 for two years to render training to UP's judokas in pure judo base rather than wrestling judo base being practised hitherto at different centres of the state.
The judo coach from Japan, who volunteers to train UP judokas for two years will work under the auspices of Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) run by Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Already, JICA has been aiding development in Varanasi in spheres of Ganga Pollution, urban development and has financed various sophisticated systems at BHU Hospital in the past, but sports has been an unchartered territory for JICA in India's Hindi Heartland.
For linking UP Judo's with Japan, a two member JICA team led by Keiko Haneoka (JOCV-Coordinator) and Preeti Manchanda (JOCV Project Officer) was at Sampoornand Sports Stadium in Varanasi on Thursday, which has produced over 40 national and international champions (including Commonwealth Judo Champion and Asian Silver Medallist Ram Asre) despite not having an exclusive Judo Hall for decades.
At the Badminton Hall, where promising judokas have been training hard under the guidance of their dependable coach Lal Kumar for years, the JICA team saw the practice session of young judokas (most of them from wrestling background) under coach Kashi (who is coaching absence of Lal Kumar, presently at Thailand attending an Asian Judo Seminar).
Accompanied by UP Judo Association (UPJA) Secretary General and World Referee Munnawar Anzar, the JICA team viewed practice sessions and returned with picture clips of the exercise at the Badminton Hall being used for judo practice.
Prior to their visit in Varanasi, the JICA team was in Lucknow, where they visited the KD Singh Babu Stadium, La Martiniers Girls College and Sports Authority of India (SAI) Training Centre and scanned the judo infrastructure, state of coaching as also the promising judokas and were deeply impressed with judo scene at La Martiniers and SAI Centre, which they termed as world class.
"Already two volunteers from Japan have been rendering professional training to judo coaches as well as upcoming judokas under JOCV banner, since June 2009 at New Delhi and Mumbai. Prior to the two judo coaches who have volunteered to give a professional fillip to Indian judo in New Delhi and Mumbai, three more coaches have volunteered at Patiala, New Delhi and Kolkata, under the JOCV, with which Judo was covered since 2006," Keiko Haneoka told HT.
Munnawar Anzar, the Sec Gen of UPJA, said, "The JICA team travels to Saharanpur next and based on the visit to three judo centres of UP, they'll submit a report to Indian Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, which will forward it to Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, which sends it to Tokyo for further processing."
"If everything falls in place as planned, UP will have a highly skilled Japanese coach (selected by Kodokan Judo Varsity in Tokyo) will fly to UP to not only train judokas at the three centres in UP, but also reorient the judo training approach of coaches in 2011," said Haneoka.
Anzar added, "maximum judokas in UP have had a wrestling background, which needs to be changes into a pure Japanese form of judo, if they seriously eye a podium finish in world judo arena, which is where this JOCV-sponsored tie-up will help us possibly starting in 2011."
Regional Sports Officer (Varanasi) Vijay Kumar also hoped sooner the Japanese tie-up with UP judo materialises better will it be for the game in the state.
JOCV, one of the most important schemes of technical cooperation provided by JICA, promotes activities of young Japanese people aspiring to be part of economic and social development of developing nations like India.
JOCVs are young professionals trained in a variety of technical fields and are recruited through a selection process for being dispatched to developing nations. Once dispatched they generally stay in developing nations for two years, living and working with local people, while participating in development activities.
JOCV was implemented in India in 1966, but was discontinued in 1978 and resumed after 28 years in 2006. In last four years 11 JOCVs have been dispatched to India for Japanese Language and Judo, while five athletics coaches under the scheme had helped India between 1966 and 1978.