USJF to Fund Developmental Team to the Irish Open

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Through the amazing generosity of the Board of Directors of the United States
Judo Federation, we will be able to fund a team of ten athletes with a coach and manager to
the Irish Open, in Dublin, Ireland, October 20-25.

Criteria for consideration for selection were:

Silver or bronze medalist in senior national championships or U.S. Open, or
won the youth (17-19) division in the United States Judo Federation Junior National
Championships, under 25 years of age and recommendation by coach or yudanshakai
(regional black belt association). Only a few dozen athletes in the country
meet the selection criteria. The team will be coached by James Pedro, Sr. of
Salem, NH, the 2004 USJF Coach of the Year. Team manager and medical director
will be Dr. Jim Wooley, of Irvine, CA. Dr. Wooley stated, "My years in
judo were some of the best in my life and this is my opportunity to give back
by helping these young athletes. I had the opportunity to meet many of them
at the USJF Junior Nationals and watch them compete. I am really excited to
be part of this team of great athletes."

Coach Pedro said, "The DevelopmentalTeam is consistent with the USJF
purpose of developing good judo athletes who are also well-rounded people. One
goal is to increase the depth in our pool of competitors by supporting young
people to become contenders for world and Olympic teams. A second is to maintain
participation in judo after the high school years - when many young people drop
out of competitive sports - so we are focusing on college students and recent
graduates in our selection. A third goal is to broaden their life experience.
This is the reason I insisted the team remain in Ireland for a day to see the
country. We want to enrich our athletes' lives as well as their athletic
performance - and that won't happen if all they see is the inside of a
gym."

The development program also serves as a vehicle for offering young coaches
the opportunity to get international experience with a seasoned mentor coach.
Accompanying the team as Assistant Coach will be Lanny Clark of Hercules, CA.

Team selection will be announced by September 2, 2005. Athletes must be members
of USJF. Please insure that your athletes keep their USJF membership current!
This is both a junior and senior event. Athletes and coaches who are interested
in attending at their own expense are extremely welcome to join the USJF team.
Please contact Lanny Clark (newaza@aol.com) or Dr. Jim Wooley (jim@camresearch.com)
for information.

The USJF has contributed funds toward airfare and hotel for these athletes.
We would very much like to purchase team uniforms. We have more than ten athletes
who we believe deserve funding. If you are interested in donating to support
either team uniforms or additional athletes on the team, please contact Dr.
AnnMaria De Mars, Chair of Senior Development (DrAnnmaria@aol.com).

Category: News