Nik Fairbrother and Miriam Blasco to hold judo classes and give judo books to the judoka to the kids at Everest Judo Club – the highest dojo in the world.
Olympians Miriam Blasco and Nik Fairbrother will trek to Base Camp Everest. On the way they will stop at Everest Judo Club at an altitude of nearly 4000m to hold judo classes and give the children a special edition Everest Judo Club Koka Kids book.
Note from Nik Fairbrother: So, it’s going to happen! We’re off to Base Camp Everest with our judogi and a load of Koka Kids judo books packed in the rucksacks. Why? What? How? Here’s a few answers to the questions being asked…
We’ve decided to take on the challenge of trekking to Base Camp Everest!
Miriam (Blasco) and I are going to be surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the world’s tallest mountains. But what makes this journey even more special for us, is that along the way, we will be stopping at the Everest Judo Club (see more about EJC on Facebook)
Wait! There’s a judo club on Everest?
Yes, there is! It’s the highest judo club in the world, at almost 4000m! Half way up the world’s tallest mountain, you’ll find the Everest Judo Club. It’s quite unbelievable how it has been built. Judo mats were flown in by helicopters, and then carried by Sherpas to reach the high altitudes!
How did we find about this?
We found out about the judo club through the Austrian Olympian, Sabrina Filzmoser. About the time we were planning our trek to Base Camp, Sabrina was attempting to summit Everest. We’d been following her journey. Totally inspirational! But not only the fact she successfully summited Everest, but also the work Sabrina has been doing in Nepal to develop judo in the Everest Region.
Sabrina inspired us. It made us think what can we do? How can we help?
We knew we could hold judo classes on the way through, but we also wanted to take something special out to give the children at the judo club.
We decided on creating a specially designed Koka Kids book, that we hope will inspire the kids and motivate them with their judo.
Educational judo books for the children.
I publish children’s judo books, so for me it was an obvious way to help. Books always inspired me when I was younger, and it’s my hope this book will do the same for the young judoka in Nepal.
We have created an illustrated book that tells the remarkable story of Everest Judo Club – the highest judo club in the world! The book will also help the young judoka learn judo throws and promote Olympic and Judo values.
A copy will be given to each child at the club. We will take the books with us, and present them to the kids as we visit the different dojos.
The first stop on our journey will be at Monjo Dojo, a primary school, located at an altitude of 2850m where the children are taught by Kazi Sherpa, the Sensei of the Everest Judo Clubs.
Continuing on the trek, we will then make a second stop at Khumjung Dojo, situated at an even higher altitude of nearly 4000m, where the children go to secondary school.
Here, we will, (lungs permitting!), once again hold judo classes and give out more books.
All going well, we will then continue to Everest Base Camp at 5,364m before retracing our steps home.
How is Everest Judo Club helping the region?
They are making a truly making a remarkable impact on the local community.
Miriam and I last trekked the Himalayas in 2019, when we hiked the Annapurna Circuit. During our journey we were met by kindness, and always lots of laughter but it was clear to us the challenges the locals faced every day are real. Some children have a three hour walk just to get to a school.
The Everest Judo Club, led by Kazi Sherpa and his team, provides the children with an education, a home, and a direction.
How does judo help children?
Judo teaches values; respect, friendship, courage, etc and these values help guide us in our lives. The ultimate goal of judo is to help others.
The number of children doing judo in this remote region around Everest has grown from six to almost one hundred. The club now boasts three black belts, and these older kids are helping the younger kids learn. Scholarships allow the kids to travel to Kathmandu to take their first belt-exams.
Everest Judo Club is a real example of how judo values help people and how judo is changing lives.
How can you help? If you are interested on buying the Everest Judo Book (all proceeds will go to Everest Judo Club) please leave a comment below. More info on how to purchase will follow soon.
With grateful thanks to GB Olympians for championing this initiative and to the World Olympians Association (WOA) for funding the printing of the books through their Service to Society grant scheme.
The World Olympic Association has provided a grant to cover the costs of printing of the book.
Please note our personal journey is self-funded. Miriam and I will be covering all our personal costs, flights, food, ground travel ourselves.