Over the last few months, work has been taking place on two very important development aspects for the Northern Ireland Judo Federation.
The first is the recruitment of a new Performance Lead Coach, and we have great pleasure in announcing that Stephen McCluskey will be taking up the position to develop our players at Performance level.
However, Stephen will not only be working on the squads, but he will also be integral to the Federation as a whole creating a culture of openness and development to the Performance levels, from the Pathway Academy and Squad through to the Performance players themselves.
Stephen needs no introduction to the Judo fraternity, and has a fantastic record in Judo, as a competitor and as a coach and was integral in the development of the Squad and Academy initiatives.
More will be announced shortly as Stephen outlines his vision for the squads and we inform the membership and into integrate them into this.
“I am looking forward to not only continuing the development of our Northern Ireland Judo fighters, but also bringing some innovation and robust practices to the table.
I will be working with the membership as a collective, to lift the presence of Judo and our athletes in the province through engagement with our Judo clubs and coaches. Alongside this, I will be increasing opportunities for players to train and compete at appropriate levels both on our doorstep and beyond”.
Because of the vision of the Board and the staff members that are now in place, we also have some more great news.
To further our support to our squads, members, and clubs, we have been awarded a funding increase from SportNI.
Based around a structured and targeted submission, the Northern Ireland Judo Federation has been earmarked for a substantial uplift on the budget last year.
Something that we are now ready to put in place for both the grassroots clubs and our Performance level players to make Judo more of a force in untapped areas, open our doors to more members and directly help those who work hard to create a great Judo culture.
Russell Brown, Chairman of the Federation added:
“To say I am excited about the future is an understatement, with Stephen coming on to the team and the funding support that SportNI offered us we are in a real strong position to give Judo a massive boost.
None of this happens by chance and I would like to thank the staff members of the Federation for their hard work on the formation of the submission and our strategy and my fellow Board members for their efforts and support as a team.
We have a job to do, but with the staff, clubs, and coaches we have in place, I am very much looking forward to seeing the immediate future of the NIJF unfolding”.