From left, Leisure and Sport Operations Manager at DCSDC Steve Setterfield, City of Derry Airport Marketing Manager Maressa McWilliams and Commercial Manager of NI Judo Mark Donald.
The Northern Ireland Judo Federation have announced that all their tournaments for 2020 will be hosted in the Foyle Arena in Derry.
The move follows the success of the NI Judo Open taking place in the venue last April when over 500 judoka in 11 categories competed at the Waterside venue.
Next year’s events in the Main Hall will include the NI Judo Open the NI Schools Championships, and an inaugural event for adaptive / inclusive judo to allow players of all abilities to take part.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Michaela Boyle, said the Federation’s decision was a ringing endorsement for the venue.
“I am delighted that the cream of judo in the North will return to our Council area in 2020 and that the Federation will now host all their events there next year,” she said.
“The tournaments will attract hundreds of visitors to the city, growing our reputation as a host of international level sports events and providing a welcome boost to the local hospitality sector.
“It is a fantastic endorsement of the Foyle Arena as a state of the art leisure and events facility that can cater for large crowds of people.”
Mark Donald, Commercial Manager Northern Ireland Judo, added:
“After the success of staging events in 2019 we have decided to move all our events to the Foyle Arena for 2020,” he said.
“They know our set up now, the team there do a great job working with us and it makes sense to block book and advertise the events so we can maximise attendance.
“We’re looking forward to 2020 and bringing plenty of action to the Foyle Arena.”
The Championships will be sponsored by City of Derry Airport and Airport Manager Charlene Shono added: "We are absolutely delighted to sponsor the NI Judo Open Championships once again, particularly as the Foyle Arena has become the Northern Ireland hub for the sport which is hugely popular with our local community.
"The Championships bring a fantastic opportunity for the airport as participants and supporters will be travelling from across the UK and Europe to attend and we look forward to giving them a warm welcome to the North West."
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.
To learn more out more about the Foyle Arena and what it has to offer, visit derrystrabaneleisure.com /foyle-arena, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 028 71 376555 and to find your nearest Judo club, log on to www.nijudo.com.
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