The agreement will help create a standing judo training base on ITMO's territory. As of now, work on reconstructing one of the university's gyms is already in process. Soon, it will host the judo training center. According to both the university's and JFLR's representatives, up to 20 sportsmen will be able to train there simultaneously.

"Not only will ITMO's students be able to train here. Students from other universities will have an opportunity to train here free of charge, as well. ITMO University and JFLR will cover all the expenses", shares Valeriy Gavriluk, JFLR's president.

Valeriy Gavriluk also explained that collaborating with ITMO University is of great interest to the Judo Federation of the Leningrad Region, as many of its students leave for St. Petersburg to get higher education. Many of them retire from sport prematurely.

Signing of ITMO-JFLR agreement

"Many our students and graduates leave to study in the city, and thus we lose them. We want to further develop their potential, as our goal is to hone their skills to the highest level. Thanks to ITMO University, we now have a place where we can do that", shared Valeriy Gavriluk.

According to Vladimir Vasilyev, ITMO's Rector, a strong judo team was once one of the university's calling cards.

"Among our graduates, there are many sportsmen who've marked a place for themselves in the history of judo in Russia. For instance, in 2016, Margarita Lugova, PhD student of the Department of Applied Biotechnology, became champion of Russia in sambo and bronze medalist of the Russian Judo Championship, and also got gold in the World Championship in Judo's team event and silver in the individual classification. Signing of an agreement with JFLR is the start of reviving the many years of tradition of judo in ITMO University," shares Vladimir Vasilyev.

ITMO University. Vladimir Vasilyev

The students will train under guidance of an experienced coach from JFLR — Andrei Volkov, master sportsman in judo, honored coach of Russia and lecturer at ITMO's Department of Sports and Wellness. He believes that ITMO’s collaboration with JFLR may well result in creating one of St. Petersburg's strongest student teams. It will consist of award winners of major national competitions, and will represent the city, JFLR and country in domestic and international tournaments.

At the recent JFLR's conference, Andrei Ivanov, Vice Rector for Economics and Finance, also acknowledged the agreement's importance.

"At our university, we pay a lot of attention to both youth policy and developing physical education and sports as part of it, comments the Vice Rector. We are interested in further collaboration, and I believe that the recently signed agreement between ITMO University and JFLR will become one of the cornerstones on which we will develop important Olympic sports not only at our University, but in St. Petersburg in general. Surely, we are glad to become the leader in developing judo, jujitsu and sambo in St. Petersburg by providing resources and opportunities to our sportsmen".

Valeriy Gavriluk (on the left)

During the conference, representatives of the Judo Federation of the Leningrad Region presented results for the last year and their website. The conference's participants also shared about plans for the future. Among the upcoming events, there will be the traditional championship in judo amongst St. Petersburg's universities. The organizers expect that by that time, ITMO University's team will get new members who are part of Russia's junior national team.

The official part of the conference was concluded by Gennadiy Kolgotin, head of the Committee for Physical Education and Sports of the Leningrad Region:

"It was already mentioned that today is a landmark event. It’s important not just for JFLR, but the whole sports community of the Leningrad Region, as this agreement is essential for allowing our young sportsmen to continue their careers while studying at universities in St. Petersburg."