On the weekend of the 24th and 25th February, the Northern Ireland Judo Federation staged their Coaching Conference in the Longtower and the Racquets Club, Lisburn.
The first Conference after the Covid 19 hiatus, was a fantastic reason to get together, learn, share ideas and understand how we can move Judo forward… Together.
And what a weekend it was!
Day one saw on the mat learning, with Nigel Donohue, Performance Director of the BJA focusing on player development and skillset, along with technique adaptation for all players.
Then in the afternoon, the coaches and club volunteers took to the tatami with a 5x World Champion and 3x Olympic Medallist – Yoko Tanabe! Yoko took the delegates through a classic Japanese lesson with a full break down on movement and building of throws.
A visit from the mayor of DCSDC Sandra Duffy topped off a fantastic day of learning!
On day two, it was pencils sharpened as we moved to the classroom format with Jo McParland from Cara Friend educating us all on the LGBTQIA+ community, helping us to understand and open our Dojo doors to everyone.
Matt Divall then took us through the BJA Hajime / Matte model and how to formulate a competition strategy with players, alongside coaching specifics and key points we can all look out for to improve our players.
The afternoon was then completed on the mat with a lively session from James Mulroy of Judo Assist Ireland to help us learn about adaptive Judo and how to plan a lesson for those Judoka who may need additional support and assistance.
All in all it was a jam-packed weekend of learning and great feedback from all involved.
Mark Donald, Commercial & Marketing Manager for the NIJF said:
“We had great attendances on both days, which shows us how dedicated our coaches all are to move Judo in the right direction. The input was fantastic, the chance to catch up with other coaches was relished by all, and everyone left with a new amount of knowledge and understanding to take back to their clubs across Northern Ireland.
It was very much a team effort to put this together and on behalf of myself and everyone in the Federation I would like to thank all those involved, from the guest speakers to the caterers and the assistants on the day, and of course the coaches and club volunteers for making it a weekend to remember.”
Further coach development is in planning and the details will all be posted on our events calendar and our social platforms.