Destination@BritishJudo welcomed its first three apprentice coaches onto the programme earlier this month.

The trio of Bethany Kneeshaw, Thomas Fisher and Adam Palamountain will spend the next 18 months working alongside the full-time coaches on the programme at three of the Destination hubs.

They will help in the running of and planning of sessions for young people on the programme while earning qualifications at the same time, with the aim that the apprentices will move into full-time employment as judo coaches.

These qualifications include: BJA Level 1 Coach Award; UKCC Level 2 Coach Award; Safeguarding and Protecting Children Certificate; 1st4sport Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Activity Leadership and more.

If you’d like to find out more about Destination@BritishJudo you can visit the website: http://www.britishjudo.org.uk/clubs/my-club/initiatives-and-programmes/destinationbritishjudo/

Bethany Kneeshaw (Hub – Stockton)

  • How old are you? 18 year old
  • How old were you when you first started judo and what was your first club? I was eight when I started Judo and my first club was Eston Grand Judo Club
  • What is your current club? My current club is Middlesbrough Judo
  • Why did you start doing judo? I started judo because I was asked by my friends
  • Why did you keep doing judo after you started? I kept doing judo after I started because I enjoyed it and judo came naturally to me
  • Have you had much/any coaching experience before this? I’ve got a little bit of coaching experience
  • What made you want to apply for the Destination@BritishJudo Apprenticeship? I applied for this because my coach mentioned it to me and coaching is something I really enjoy doing
  • What are you hoping to get out of the Apprenticeship programme? By doing this apprenticeship I’m hoping to further my career for the future

Thomas Fisher (Hub – Durham)

  • How old are you? 18 years old
  • How old were you when you first started judo and what was your first club? I first started Judo at the age of three at Washington Judo Club
  • What is your current club? I don’t have a current club as such due to my recent educational and working commitments so for the past few months have trained at various clubs
  • Why did you start doing judo? I started doing judo because my brother and cousins were doing it so I wanted to be involved as well
  • Why did you keep doing judo after you started? I stayed in the sport purely because I enjoyed it and I wanted to become the best in at least my family
  • Have you had much/any coaching experience before this? I have had some coaching experience but have no qualifications. I would help out my coach, John Pickering, at Washington Judo Club with coaching the younger judoka when there was a large turnout
  • What made you want to apply for the Destination@BritishJudo Apprenticeship? I applied for this apprenticeship because I believe that you work harder at things you enjoy so if I manage to have my career in a subject I enjoy I will always work harder at it
  • What are you hoping to get out of the Apprenticeship programme? I aim to improve my Judo skills as a whole but would especially like to improve my coaching and aim to get my black belt whilst in the apprenticeship

Adam Palamountain (Hub – Gateshead)

  • How old are you? 16 years old
  • How old were you when you first started judo and what was your first club? When I started judo I was eight years old and my first club was Fordley Judo Club.
  • What is your current club? My current club is East Hartford and Fordley Judp Club
  • Why did you start doing judo? At my primary school there was a judo club running on a night time so my mum took me to have look at it as I had low self-esteem and confidence
  • Why did you keep doing judo after you started? I carried on doing judo as I really enjoyed it and wanted to progress further in judo
  • Have you had much/any coaching experience before this? At my current club I was helping out and coaching younger ones as I wanted to be a coach of my own. So, my judo coach let me take lead and gradually increased the amount of coaching I did
  • What made you want to apply for the Destination@BritishJudo Apprenticeship? I want to be a coach of my own so if I applied for the apprenticeship with Destination@Britishjudo I would have a closer step to running my own club
  • What are you hoping to get out of the Apprenticeship programme? I am hoping to get some coaching qualifications and gain more confidence coaching younger people