#70SportWays (64): Tomislav Ivašković, HAŠK Mladost perseverant warrior
In HAŠK Mladost there are a few clubs for people with special needs. Among them is Tomislav Ivašković, the best Croatian judoka with mental disabilities.
Nine years ago he started training ju-jitsu but a lot of his medals come from competing in judo. His coach Rene Petrović says: ” The main goal of every sport for people with special needs is including them in society, in a normal sports activities. In this way they can make more friends, have new experiences and present Croatia at competitions. Judo helps Tomislav in everyday life, because of it he is more calm, has a lot of friends from different clubs and also says it has made him a better person”.
Tomislav and Rene know each other for 12 years and the friendship has started when Rene was working in an organization that promotes social inclusion of which Tomislav was a member. By chance Tomislav started practicing Jiu jitsu and judo.
Tomislav is the only judoka with mental disabilities that had the opportunity to train judo at the Kudokan judo institute in Japan. He says “It is hard. I practice a lot and have started practicing even more now. I do pull ups, push ups, rope puling, squats, sit ups and I run. Judo is my favorite sport, I think it is beautiful. I know it is healthy and that is why I train and also because of the traveling. My biggest wish is to get the black belt so that I can become a coach and teach others and also to become a world champion.˝ Except for doing sports Tomislav is the president of the Self-advocacy association of which he is very proud. In October 2017 Tomislav was given a chance to participate at the first Judo world championships for people with mental disabilities in Germany where he finished 7th.
We present Tomislav as a very positive example of a quality and devoted sportsman how takes his practicing really serious and listens to everything his coach tells him. His positive attitude should be an example for everybody doing sports because despite all of the obstacles he is working hard towards his goal.