The Judo Masterclass, which was held at Nwaniba Hall, Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort on 1st and 2nd February, attracted over 200 Judokas across several categories from within and outside the state. Billy Cusack, legendary high-performance Great Britain judo coach and Sarah Clark, three times Olympian from the Edinburgh Judo club facilitated the masterclass session, the first of
its kind in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, Andrew Knott, CEO of Savannah Petroleum, the parent company of Accugas Limited, said: “Apart from promoting healthy competition, respect and mental discipline, judo is a sport that engenders physical fitness. We sponsored this Judo Masterclass to bring these benefits to participants. In the long run, we look forward to having global champions emerge
from this group of judokas.”
Also speaking at the event, the secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Emmanuel Ekuwem, who represented the governor of the state, Udom Emmanuel, said: “This is a laudable Judo Masterclass and the state government is pleased with the initiative taken by Accugas to put an event of this magnitude together and in Akwa Ibom State. We are truly grateful to Accugas and ask that this initiative be sustained.”
On his part, Prince Timothy Nsirim (JP), President of the Nigeria Judo Federation (NJF), said, “Judo is the first combat sport in Nigeria and it is plausible that Accugas took the initiative to put this event together. Nigerian judokas are very health and we are encouraged by the enthusiasm, stamina and professionalism exhibited during these two days of activity.”
Participants in the first Judo Masterclass in Nigeria, which were of various age brackets, were exposed to modern judo techniques combining jujitsu with mental discipline. The best approach to judo techniques including throws, falls, and grappling moves were demonstrated by the facilitators.
The event was attended by other dignitaries including Abinbola Adesinya, Secretary General Nigeria Judo Federation, Engr. Bunmi Johnson, Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Judo Association, Lawrence Iquaibom, Director of Youths and Sports, Akwa Ibom State, Joyce Udoh, 2nd Vice Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Judo Association, Iquaibom Usen, member Akwa Ibom State Judo Federation, Rt. Hon (Barr) Ekong Sampson, Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Environment and Petroleum Resources.