Call it a late Christmas present if you like but it was a big surprise for Papua New Guinea Judo Federation (PNGJF) President, John Jambert when he unwrapped the package. It came from the International Judo Federation in Lausanne, Switzerland. Inside was a Christmas card signed by the IJF President, Marius L. Vizer.
Jambert, smiled as he opened the black oblong box which revealed a Judo black belt with custom embroidery on it that read “Mr John Jambert – Papua New Guinea” in gold color.
“Wow, I didn’t expect this. What a lovely gift,” he said.
While it may not mean much to ordinary people, to martial artists the black belt is a symbol of high achievement, hard work and perseverance through much struggle and difficult times.
“I really like this gift and I want to thank the IJF President for this kind gesture,” Jambert said.
Jambert, who is also the First Vice President of the Oceania Judo Union (OJU) has been very active in organizing and planning Judo activities and events in PNG and the belt was a gift from the IJF recognizing his efforts.
With the Olympic Games in Rio this year, Jambert and his team are working hard to ensure that PNG is represented in the sport of Judo at this Games.
The Judo athlete vying for a spot in Rio is Raymond Ovinou who will be competing in the -66kg division.
Ovinou is currently training in Japan and also attending international events as part of his qualification for Rio and is being supported by PNGJF and the PNGOC.
Jambert has been with Judo since 1989 as an athlete, coach and administrator and holds a third dan black belt in the art.