Portugal's first Olympic medal in judo, Nuno Delgado was the guest of honour in a judo class at the Escola Básica da Pasteleira for a very special audience: kindergarten pupils.
The Olympic champion (bronze in the under-81 kg category at the 2000 Summer Olympics, in Sydney) participated in a judo class, alongside the Councillor for Education, Fernando Paulo, under the project “Formar Campeões para a Vida” [“Training Champions for life”, free translation]. The Nuno Delgado Judo School is project partner of the Municipality of Porto.
The goal is to train “champions for life”, via free weekly sessions during the school year. Each session takes between 45 and 90 minutes, and the target audience are pupils aged three to five and six.
The partnership between Porto City Hall and the Escola de Judo Nuno Delgado started in the school year 2015/2016, with the establishment of the project “O Judo Transforma”, [“Judo Transforms”, free translation], and continued in the following years, under the theme project “Formar Campeões para a Vida". This project was then approved in the “Programa Parcerias para o Impacto”, aka Impact Partnerships Programme, with the Municipality of Porto taking the role of social investor.
This initiative is targeted at preschool education pupils within the state schools in the city of Porto, with the purpose of promoting the fundamental principles of judo, balancing mind and body and stimulating attention, focus and mental reflexion.
According to information by the Education services that accompany this project, the number of participants has increased and all players display great enthusiasm and satisfaction. This not only shows advantages at the technical level, but also brings benefits at social and psychological levels, as Judo promotes such qualities as greater self-control and enhanced resilience.
Another important aspect worth highlighting is the joint effort by the entire community, be it teachers, educators, students and parents to collaborate in the project that has shown so successful at pedagogical level. This activity is carried out in 30 kindergartens, within 13 school groups, 59 classes and circa 1.147 children.
Judo was first included in the Summer Olympic Games at the 1964 Games in Tokyo, Japan.