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Pope Francis has the black belt

His Holiness Pope Francis has received an honorary black belt by the hands of IJF President Marius Vizer. The Vatican was the scene of a conference of which the theme was 'Sport For All: cohesive, accessible and tailored to each person.’

Marius Vizer said “As a sports organisation however, we do not only address top athletes but we work at all levels, with all ages and social categories. Here it was about solidarity and mutual aid, values which are dear to our judo family and which are a vehicle for peace and the development of a fairer world.

Thursday 28th and Friday 29th September brought together 180 representatives from 40 countries during numerous working sessions, concluding with the signing of a joint declaration, presented by Pope Francis himself, before an audience of international leaders, including the IOC President, Mr Thomas Bach.

Sport can and must play a central role in the giving of hope to those who need it the most and judo will for undoubtedly continue to be active at all levels to promote its values and promote the ideals of Jigoro Kano.

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