2020 Vision project providing opportunities for young people with disabilities to develop in their judo

2020 Vision is a Visually Impaired/disability project supported by Sport England aiming to establish four new clubs in specialist schools and colleges. 

The project is supported by Sport England’s Inclusive Sport Fund and accommodates students with a range of disabilities as well as those with a visual impairment. 

The four colleges involved in the project are Henshaws College (Harrogate), Royal National College (Hereford), New College (Worcester) and Linden Lodge School (south west London). 

A team of coaches have delivered the sessions at these schools and colleges including: British Judo Technical Officers, Dermot Heslop and Steve Fraser, alongside Beverley Bunyan and Carol Leverton. 

Since January, Dermot Heslop has been delivering sessions to a group of young people from Henshaws College who have a range of disabilities. 

“The coaching at Henshaw’s with these young adults has been great fun. It has been hard work but extremely rewarding”, said Dermot. 

“In a relatively short time we have come a long way and since January all the players rightly deserved their red belts”. 

British Judo South East Area Service Manager and National Lead for Equality, James Woodland was also in attendance at the red belt presentation ceremony: “It was great to be here today to see the red belts presented to the students at Henshaws College. 

“The students were really enjoying their judo with Dermot and Bev, all of them had big smiles on their faces and seemed to really enjoy the sessions”. 

A special thank you was paid to Matt Trower the Personal and Social Development Instructor at Henshaws and all the student enablers whose support have helped the project progress. 

They want to give the players more opportunities to progress in the sport: “We start back in September, aiming to progress to Yellow Belt 5th Kyu by Easter 2016. After that we would look to attend a National Inclusion Day at some point too”, Dermot added.

2020 Vision is funded for the next two years and there are plans in place for remaining three colleges in the project to achieve their first gradings and join up together to provide the students with the opportunity for inter-school competition.