On the 21st May a wellbeing event was held in the Maghaberry Hub of Simply Judo to help their parents, players and coaches understand the far-reaching benefits of being involved in a sport and the affects mental health awareness can have, both in the Dojo and out.

The session was completely free to the club and focused on the ‘Take 5 steps to Wellbeing’. Taught through the medium of physical activity, group interaction and providing information that will support education around resilience and factors that affect mental health.

Lead by Aware NI in conjunction with Sport NI, two classes were staged and tailored to the various age groups within the club (parents, coaches and teenage members) so that all relevant questions could be answered and explained within a peer group.

The course meant that those attending from the club were equipped with the tools to recognise mental health and wellbeing issues not only with each other, but also within themselves both in and out of sport.

This initiative is something that Sport NI are hoping will be taken up by other clubs and judging from the feedback from the Simply Judo attendees it was a very well-constructed event and also well received by the participants.

Mark Montgomery, one of the Head Coaches at Simply Judo said:

“Last night our Simply Judo children, parents and coaches received two ‘Mindfit’ workshops tailored for parents & coaches, and the other for our teenage members. Both sessions were hosted by Aware NI and facilitated by Sport Northern Ireland.

The session was incredibly informative and educational, and we learned how to talk about and look after the Mental Health & Wellbeing of ourselves and others, with helpful tools for children, parents and coaches, that can be used both within and outside our sport of Judo.

We would like to thank Des Jennings and Marie-Therese Higgins of SportNI, the team from Aware NI and Vicki Kennedy from the NIJF for creating this opportunity for us. We would thoroughly encourage and recommend that all other clubs receive this fantastic input by hosting one of these workshops.”

Vicki Kennedy from the NIJF added:

“The Mindfit workshops which were delivered were engaging to all participants. The information was geared at the right level and important messages were delivered to all.

All the young people and parent/coaches seemed to enjoy the sessions.

Well done to Aware NI on their delivery and to Sport NI for facilitating. Hopefully other judo clubs will now take up this great opportunity at their club on such an important topic.”

Find out more about how you can get your club involved by clicking here