Ken-Marti Vaheri kõne EM-i avatseremoonial

Honourable President of European Judo Union, mr Sergey Soloveychik!
Honourable sportsmen and –women!
Dear guests, ladies and gentlemen!
I am very glad to welcome you here at one of the most important judo events this year, the European Championships for Cadets in Tallinn.

As the Minister of the Interior of Estonia, I am happy to see that judo holds such a popular position, especially among young people, and that this sport is practiced so widely with good results and excellent achievements.

We know that judo is not just a sport – It is a lifestyle, it is a combination of the right attitudes and values, and having the right set of mind. People, especially young people, who share the values of judo, are in good physical shape, have a sharp mind and show excellent results in their studies and work.

I hope that your championships here in Tallinn will be full of excitement and healthy competition, but that is not the only goal of this event. It is also a great possibility to communicate with each other, find new friends, exchange experiences and learn from each other.

Of course we will be cheering for our own sportsmen, Estonian boys and girls – there are 16 of them in this competition. We are hoping for good results from our first number Mattias Kuusik (who is currently holding 20th position in in men’s 81 kg category in Europe), but also from everybody else in this competition, because watching great sports is always an enjoyable experience.

As usually in sports, the joy of victory and achievements tend to come first, but let’s not forget that even more important values are honest competition, dignity, honouring your opponent and the joy of participation.

I wish you a great competition here in Tallinn!
And to all the participants: enjoy the show!

Thank you!

Ken-Marti Vaher
Minister of the Interior of Estonia