Derry to host top International Judo players at NI Open this weekend

The top Judo players in Northern Ireland and a host of international talent will return to the North West this weekend as the 2022 Northern Ireland Judo Open takes place in the Foyle Arena on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th April and is sponsored by The City of Derry Airport.

The event will be taking place for the first time since 2019 when hundreds of judoka in 11 categories competed at the Waterside venue. Over 425 competitors will take to the mat in the Main Hall this weekend and Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, said the Federation’s decision to return was a ringing endorsement for the venue.

“I am delighted that the cream of judo in Northern Ireland and beyond will return to our Council area and that the Federation have again chosen us as their host city," explained Mayor Warke, “The tournament will attract hundreds of visitors to the city, enhancing our reputation as a host of international level sports events and providing a welcome boost to the local hospitality sector.

“It is also a ringing endorsement of the Foyle Arena as a state of the art leisure and events facility that can cater for large crowds of people.”

Pictured holding the welcome to the Northern Ireland Open sign are Steve Frazer, Managing Director of the City of Derry Airport, and Brenda Morgan, Head of Business Development. In the background Russell Brown, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Judo Federation demonstrates a technique on Mark Donald, Commercial Manager of the Federation.

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Mark Donald, Commercial Manager Northern Ireland Judo, added: “To get as many entries as we did post Covid, is not only testament to the event, but also to the hospitality put on by the local area and making our competitors feel so welcome!

"The Northern Ireland Open is fast becoming an unmissable event for the elite players across the UK and Europe and we would like to thank everyone involved in the delivery.

"We’re looking forward to a fantastic weekend of action on the mat and would welcome anyone that would like to come and watch top level Judo taking place on their doorstep.”

The Foyle Arena opened to the public in April 2015 at a cost of £12m and includes an event space that can cater for 2,000 people. Facilities include a 25m swimming pool with a movable/ adjustable floor alongside a separate children’s pool and a new outdoor floodlit 3G synthetic five-a-side pitch. The climbing area which is designed to cater for all levels from complete beginners to international competitors boasts an international standard 15m high competition climbing wall complemented by a technical bouldering section, the most advanced of its kind anywhere in Ireland.

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To learn more out more about the Foyle Arena and what it has to offer, visit derrystrabaneleisure.com/foyle-arena or email [email protected] or call 028 71 376555 and to find your nearest Judo club, log on to www.nijudo.com.

There is a charge of only £3 entry fee for spectators each day. Admission is free for coaches (with valid coaching card) and competitors. The competition starts at 10am on both days.

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