60 years of the African Judo Union: IFJ AWARDS GOLD MEDAL TO AJU FOR WORK DONE

The anniversary marking the 60th anniversary of the AJU celebrated in Casablanca, Morocco. Several distinctions have been awarded to honor those who have worked for the development of judo in Africa. The IFJ awards the gold medal to the AJU led by Mr. Siteny Randrianasolo-Niaiko.
Pr Chafik El Kettani, President of the Royal Moroccan Judo Federation, Mohamed Meridja, 1st Vice President of AJU and Director of Education and Coaching at the IJF and Mr Vlad Marinescu, Director General of the IJF.

This event marking the 60 years of existence of the African Judo Union brought together an audience of guests in Morocco. Moments of great emotion which marked this evening. Among the actors present, General Lassana Palenfo who chaired the African Judo Union from 1990 until 2016. Mr. Habib Sissoko who succeeded him in 2016 until 2021 and Mr. Siteny Randrianasolo-Niaiko who is the current President. The ceremony was kicked off by Dr Chafik El Kettani, the President of the Royal Moroccan Judo Federation, Mohamed Meridja, the 1st Vice President of the AJU and Director of Education and Coaching at the IFJ and Mr. Vlad Marinescu, the Director General of the IJF. During his speech, Mr. Mohamed Meridja, the first vice-president of the AJU who replaces the presidency of the AJU stressed that since its creation, the AJU has experienced great progress for the development and popularization of judo on a continental scale. Mr. Meridja, who is also the Director of Education and Coaching at the IFJ, recalled the first African Olympic medal obtained by Mohamed Ali Rashwan at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 and the other African crownings which followed demonstrate the work and efforts made by the leaders who have taken charge of the AJU since its creation. Mr. Meridja wanted to pay vibrant tribute to all these people. He affirms that the legacy that has been bequeathed constitutes a real source of inspiration for African youth who aspire to carry high the torch of progress which aims to be constant and sustained, he says. He also returned to the support of the President of the IJF, Marius Vizer, who gave his full support for the progression of judo on the continent. The President of the IJF, Mr. Marius Vizer who was represented by Lisa Allan, the General Secretary of the IJF during this event.

M. Mohamed Meridja and the Dr. Lisa Allan

The President of the Royal Moroccan Judo Federation, Pr. Chafik El Kettani who warmly welcomed the guests and paid a vibrant tribute to all these men who have worked to make the African Judo Union an institution. He praised the contribution of all those people who have volunteered in Africa for the advancement of Judo. He paid tribute to IJF President Marius Vizer's unwavering support for Africa. A distinction was awarded to Mr. Marius Vizer by the AJU in recognition of his outstanding services and contribution to the development of judo in Africa. 

The Pr. Chafik El Kettani, president of the Royal Morrocan Judo Federation

The IJF presented a commemorative plaque to the Royal Moroccan Judo Federation for its exceptional involvement in the promotion of judo on the local territory, in Africa and also in the world.

General Lassana Palenfo and Mr. Habib Sissoko both spoke about the history of the AJU. For General Palenfo this distinction honors him. The same words were made by Mr. Sissoko to express his honor and satisfaction at this recognition.

Mr. Lassana Palenfo
M. Habib Sissoko, honorary president of the AJU

To mark these 60 years of history, several people who have been hard at work for the advancement and development of judo on the continent were honored. They were linchpins or even they devoted their whole lives to judo. General Lassana Palenfo, former President of the AJU, Mr. Habib Sissoko, former Vice-President and President of the AJU, Mr. Omar Danga-Loum, former Secretary General of the AJU, Mr. Andre Angwe Aboughe, former general treasurer and general secretary of the AJU, Mr. Hedi Mhirsi, former general treasurer of the UAJ, Mr. Marius Vizer, President of the IJF, Prof. Chafik El Kettani, President Royal Moroccan Judo Federation and Hifri Ahmed and Mr. Heydou Nourou Toure posthumously.

Estony Pridgeon posthumously presenting the decoration of Heydou Nourou Toure to Ababakar Ngom, president of the Senegal Judo Federation
Estony Pridgeon et M. Andre Angwe Aboughe

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