Inclusion - Uniting The Judo Family has been announced as the theme for this year's World Judo Day ©IJF

The International Judo Federation (IJF) has announced the theme for this year’s World Judo Day, as part of a message to mark International Women’s Day (IWD).

"Inclusion - Uniting The Judo Family" has been unveiled as the theme for World Judo Day, which is celebrated annually on October 28 - the birthday of the sport’s founder Jigoro Kano.

IJF President Marius Vizer used the IWD message to congratulate all women who are part of the sport’s family.

"Like in any other family, our international judo family’s inclusivity produces excellence - a family offering all its members fair chances and opportunities," said Vizer.

"Our choice of theme honours all women who are the links that bind people, groups or even nations together. 

"Inclusion is vital, especially in humanity’s most difficult moments.

"Today, women all over the world are protecting their families, helping their communities and sustaining a wall of safety and love for all. 

"They keep families together and communities united and strong.

"We celebrate all women: women who work hard for our common goals and success, women who inspire us on the tatami and behind the scenes, women who remind us that unity and solidarity must prevail in every situation, as the judo principles teach us so explicitly."

World Judo Day has been celebrated each year since 2010, with the theme last year solidarity, to tie in with efforts to come together after the coronavirus pandemic.

IWD is marked annually on March 8, and is designed to celebrate women’s achievements and raise awareness about women’s equality.

According to the IWD website, the day was first marked in 1911.