As part of the Northern Ireland Judo Federation’s drive to welcome everyone onto the mats, on the 10th of November at Maghaberry Community Centre, an Inclusive Coaching training session was held.

Comprising of a classroom training environment and then practical application, 14 coaches we taken through the best practice approach to Inclusive Coaching via a course lead by educators Jim Toland and Vicki Kennedy.

Alongside the theoretical part of the day, 50 judoka’s and another 5 coaches were able to get on the mats and learn with Kerry Tansey (BJA Lead Disability Coach) who was flown in as the lead coach for the practical Adaptive session in the afternoon.

Players with either a physical, sensory or learning disability were invited to attend with their coaches from clubs throughout Northern Ireland.

The event really was a province wide initiative with clubs from across Northern Ireland all attending.

Club players represented included;

  • Ican Judo Club
  • St Columb’s Judo Club
  • Dromore Judo Club
  • Portaferry Judo Club
  • Simply Judo
  • Destined Judo Club
  • Carnmoney Judo Club

The day has already been hailed as a great a success with all coaches and players engaging, having fun and learning new skills to take away with them to their own clubs.

Vicki Kennedy, Club Workforce Officer and organiser from the day said:

‘I was delighted to see so many players on the mats working hard and coaches from all clubs helping out throughout the day. The coaches were learning from each other and gaining more skills. It just shows how sport can bring everyone together and that Judo is definitely a sport that can welcome everyone.’

As well as training in their local clubs, again the NIJF are trailblazing with their inaugural event in February for Adaptive and Visually Impaired players on the 16th February in the Foyle Arena.

This event means the Judoka will have the opportunity to compete and showcase their skills learned in the clubs on the competitive mat and potentially bring a medal home.

If you would like to get involved in Judo, you can find your nearest club by clicking here.