THE Philippine Judo Federation is ecstatic after the All-Japan Judo Federation and the Japanese Embassy donated mats to be used for their grassroots program.
Judo chief Dave Carter said a total of 142 pieces of mats were donated by their Japanese counterparts through the intercession of the Japan Embassy as part of its program to help the develop the sport in the Philippines.
Carter said the judo federation is happy with the donation more so since one mat with a size of one meter by two meters is worth around $150 in the market.
“These mats made of straw were manufactured straight from Japan,” said Carter following the simple turnover ceremonies at the judo gym at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
The turnover ceremonies were attended by Japan International Cultural Center director Ken Nakamura and Philippine Sports Commission commissioner Charles Maxey and executive director Atty. Carlo Abarquez.
Carter noted the importance of the mats in propagating the sport to more Filipinos, starting with the nearby areas in Metro Manila.
“Sa development ng judo, ‘yan (mats) ang unang-una naming hinihiling. Napakamahal kasi niyan. This is very important because unlike other sports, dito kasi binabalibag ‘yung mga tao. Dapat may resiliency and kayang i-absorb ‘yung bagsak,” said Carter.
“We have enough mats for the Philippine team. At the same time, the Philippine Sports Commission through chairman Butch Ramirez said they will provide regional training centers in the provinces. Kami naman, we will provide for the clubs for nearby areas,” he added.