Barbastro: A Rising Star in National Judo
Barbastro has firmly established itself as a reference point in national judo, particularly in the base categories. This reputation is further solidified by hosting the Spanish Children’s and Cadet Judo A Cup for the second consecutive year in its fourth edition. Unlike last year, this edition boasts a larger number of participants, with 500 in the cadet category and 320 in initiation and elite from fifteen autonomous communities, including the Balearic and Canary Islands, as well as the Andorran team. Although a French representation had to withdraw at the last minute, the organizers, the Barbastro Judo Club, led by the veteran and icon of national judo Antonio Clager, and the Aragonese Federation of Judo and other Associated Sports, consider the turnout to be commendable and aspire to elevate Barbastro to the status of hosting a Super Cup, the highest category in judo.
An Economic Boost for Barbastro
Beyond the realm of sports, the impact of this event is estimated to be around 350,000 euros, which will be injected into the hospitality sector by the 3,500 attendees, including judokas, coaches, referees, and family members. Neighboring towns such as Monzón and Binéfar are already witnessing an increase in reservations.
A Streamlined Tournament
The competitions will take place at the Ángel Orús sports center over the course of Saturday and Sunday, utilizing five tatami mats, one more than last year. This addition will contribute to the smooth running of the tournament.
Presentation of the Event
The details of this prestigious event were unveiled on Monday at City Hall by Mayor Fernando Torres, Sports Councilor Fran Albert, Antonio Clager, Cristina Berrocal (Vice President and Executive Director of the Aragonese Judo Federation), and Raúl Clemente (Sports Director). The involvement of the municipal authorities has been instrumental in securing Barbastro as the host city for this tournament for two consecutive years.
Barbastro: A City of Diverse Events
Mayor Fernando Torres emphasizes the significance of this tournament in showcasing Barbastro as a city capable of hosting a wide range of events. He states, “It is one of the objectives of our mandate. We have successfully hosted conferences and events that have had a positive impact on the service sector and have enhanced the city’s reputation. Now, with the Spanish Cup A for children and cadets, we have the opportunity to witness high-level sports and witness the promising future of these young athletes. Such spectacles are rare in Barbastro.”
A Gathering of Top Athletes
The event will span three days, with Friday the 17th serving as the reception day, followed by the competition days on Saturday and Sunday. The attendees include top athletes, including medalists in European Cups, as well as approximately two hundred Aragonese judokas. The Barbastro Judo Club will be represented by 17 young talents.
Raising the Bar for Judo Competitions
Cristina Berrocal, Vice President and Executive Director of the Aragonese Judo Federation, highlights the significance of Barbastro in elevating the quality of children’s and cadet cups. She states, “Barbastro meets the required conditions for these competitions in terms of hospitality and support, enabling us to enhance the quality of the cups.”
A Positive Impact
Antonio Clager, Technical Director of the Barbastro Judo Club, emphasizes the importance of these events both economically and in terms of promoting the sport. He explains, “Last year, when the event was held in Barbastro for the first time, we noticed a significant increase in interest, with more boys and girls participating and being attracted to judo.” The positive impact is undeniable.
Barbastro: A Strategic Venue
Traditionally, these competitions are organized in provincial capitals, often outside of Aragon. However, Barbastro has become a key component of the federation’s strategy. Raúl Clemente, Sports Director of the Federation, explains, “Our children and cadet athletes have the advantage of competing at home, eliminating the need to travel to other cities. Competing in Barbastro ensures greater sporting success due to the extra motivation it provides.” This advantage contributes to the development of the Aragonese Judo Training Programs and the Judo Training Classrooms in Binéfar and Huesca.
A City Honored to Host
Francisco Albert, Councilor for Sports, encourages the entire community of Barbastro to embrace and enjoy the championship. He states, “Having the event held here for the second year is an honor. We want the athletes, their coaches, and families to relish the city, and for the people of Barbastro to appreciate this wonderful sport.”
A Masterclass for the Community
On the morning of Friday the 17th, taking advantage of the infrastructure of the Spanish Cup, a masterclass will be conducted by Sergio García from Alto Aragon, a judoka who is embarking on her journey on the Olympic qualifying circuit for Los Angeles 2028. This masterclass aims to introduce nearly 700 boys and girls from the capital of Somontano to the world of judo and allow them to experience a delightful morning while grasping the values that this sport instills.