On the 26th January over 60 members of the Northern Ireland Judo Federation convened to be part of the 2020 Coaching Conference with the theme of wellbeing.

The delegates made up of coaches, players, committee members and volunteers were addressed by speakers from all different fields including, coaching mindset, marketing, nutrition and mental health awareness.

The highlight of the day however was hearing first-hand from Gemma Gibbons-Burton who was a medallist at the 2012 London Olympics about how she built resilience to get to the highest echelon of her sport.

Gemma was also kind enough to stay for pictures and a chat with everyone after the event and proved a great addition to the event.

During the marketing presentation, the attendees also got the chance to air their views on the next phase of the Federation and had the opportunity to network and share ideas with each other over lunch and coffee.

Following lunch, the delegates we re informed on nutrition and mental-health from experts in their fields.

This was the second coaching conference for the Federation and it is times like these that we get the opportunity to bring our clubs together under one roof and work on taking judo into the next decade.

Vicki Kennedy, Club Workforce Officer said:

“I am delighted that we had over 60 people attending our Coaching Conference on the theme of Well-being. All speeches were informative and compelling and gave people food for thought to take away with them.

Gemma Gibbons-Burton was a great hit with everyone, sharing her judo career experiences with the main theme being resilience. This word ‘resilience’ came up throughout the rest of the topics and is something which is integral in the teaching of Judo!

A big thank you to Gemma, Michael Cooke, Mark Donald, Lorna Cooke and Andrea Kearns for their deliveries and sharing their knowledge and experience with everyone.

I’d also like to extend that thanks to all who attended and remember to look after yourself.”

From here on in we will be taking Judo forward to offer more people the chance to experience the sport and using the forum of ideas and concepts that came from the day, make judo accessible and beneficial to all.

A copy of all the presentations are below if anyone wishes to see them again.


The Presentations:

Andrea Kearns – Mental Well-being

Gemma Gibbons-Burton – Judo Career

Lorna Cooke – Nutrition

Mark Donald – Marketing

Michael Cooke – Coaching Mindset


Gallery from the day: