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Juul Franssen wins lawsuit against Dutch Judo Association
3 May 2017 17:55
Juul Franssen has just won her lawsuit against the Dutch Judo Association, which must give her the opportunity to train with her own coaches though she must also try to go for some central training. The federation may not bar her from international matches. In addition, she has to get her "A" status back and have the opportunity to vie for the Olympic Games.
The situation in the Netherlands got more tricky now for the Association. Before the trial players had to attend the centralized training, and actually live in the training accommodation in Papendal, if not, they effectively can't compete. The Juul Franssen case faced all challenges. She wants to train in Papendal (centralized training) but she can't due to her studies and training facilities she built up.
But she is far from the only one. Other players like Roy Meyer and Marhinde Verkerk also have a tough choice to make. Two of their top players, Kim Polling and Noel van 't End make for a very interesting situation though. Polling was living in Italy and van 't End in France. So far some exceptions seems to have been made but it’s hard to justify the players who have made the sacrifice and moved to Papendal. The training accommodation is absolutely fabulous, the facilities are good but the commitment to live in the Arnhem area is tougher.
Of course there is no guarantee whether centralized training is the best way to produce good results. Other sports in Holland such as handball, athletics and gymnastics have instituted centralized training and have shown good results.
It does make sense for countries where there isn't a huge judo population to centralize their training, to pool all the top talent together so there are enough randori partners. In countries like Japan this is not necessary because there are big clubs at the universities, police and even private companies (trade teams) where their top players can get plenty of quality randori partners. But in many other countries, most clubs don't have that many randori partners for top-level players. A centralized training centre addresses that problem.
Franssen who didn't compete at the Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi last year, can now continue her quest to qualify for the Olympic Games in 2020. A long road as she will be 30 at that time, so no guarantees again.
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Adrian Gomboc (SLO)
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