With funds generously granted by the Ingeborg Gross Foundation, SA2U supported Judo Club Uster with its initiative #noborders Judo Zürich to train Ukrainian judoka in the area. This project continues in 2023 with a focus on training and career development in judo and further integration into the Swiss judo community.

Aid Partner:Judo Club Uster (Zurich)
Funds:CHF 96,000 
Aid provided:Social support and integration
Beneficiaries:13 judoka and 3 family members

The initiative #noborders Judo Zürich was founded in March 2022. Since then, Judo Club Uster has supported, integrated, and trained 9 judoka as well as two of their mothers and a 6-year old daughter. A further 4 judoka, who are housed elsewhere, also take part in training and competitions.

The Club has three main aims:

  • Integration: Judoka are offered a place of refuge and stability with a structured training schedule including 1-2 daily training sessions. This promotes integration and builds confidence through familiar routines and environments. Ukrainian judoka trained not only in Uster but were also welcomed in Zurich’s Regional Center and the Swiss National Team. These efforts yielded numerous successes; one of the most notable was the achievement of 15 year-old Oleksandr Martynchuk who won 5th place at the Under-18 European Championship and 7th place at the Under-18 World Championship.
  • Solidarity: Through connection to a common sport, judoka connect to one another, forming a special bond with a single purpose. This, in turn, supports the entire community of Swiss judoka.
  • Helping people help themselves: Ukrainian judoka are empowered to become teachers in children’s classes, thereby facilitating the introduction of other Ukrainian refugees to the Swiss sports system. Ukrainian judoka were enrolled in schools and language courses to further educational development and hone German language skills, which are additionally strengthened by the opportunity to teach judo classes. The club’s oldest judoka, Masha Bulashevych, leads Swiss and Ukrainian children to take their first steps into the world of judo.

In 2023, the club will launch an introductory course to become a judo trainer for Ukrainian judoka.