After a successful campaign at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, British Judo and Team England judoka Emma Reid and Jamal Petgrave were invited to visit Campion School in Leamington Spa to share their personal experiences of competing in the games.
Campion School is a secondary school and post-16 provision which is in the top 5% of schools in the country for the academic progress made by pupils. Pupils are offered excellent opportunities to participate in team or individual sports with the aim to develop each child’s potential.
The two Commonwealth gold medallists happily accepted the invitation to attend the school to share their experiences at the Commonwealth Games and their journey in judo. The judoka spoke to over 100 pupils with varying needs and socioeconomic backgrounds. They inspired students to develop their understanding of judo and explain what opportunities they could have within the judo community.
The pupils’ energy changed as they became more inquisitive while watching the judoka demonstrate different techniques. Eager to engage the pupils further, Emma and Jamal encouraged the pupils to have a go on the mat. The initial response to the invite to practice a technique was met with caution, however, after seeing a few of their peers practice a technique, many of the pupils were excited to try on the judogi and attempt it for themselves. Emma and Jamal enjoyed seeing the pupils actively learning about judo and were happy to answer all questions which supported the pupils in perfecting the demonstrated technique.
Pupils had the opportunity to have their photographs taken with the athletes and were excited to spend this time with Emma and Jamal. Many wished the judoka good luck and success in their future competitions, including the World Championships for Emma next month.
Harmin Sidhu, a teacher at Campion School, coordinated the visit with the British Judo Association and expressed her gratitude to the athletes for visiting the school. After attending the Commonwealth Games and meeting some of the judoka, Harmin was excited to see the pupils sharing a similar opportunity commenting:
“There has been a real buzz from pupils involved and those that met Emma and Jamal whilst they were around the school. There are many cross-curricular links, well-being benefits and wider aspects of growth for pupils following the experience. There has already been further work looking at judo and self-defence as a life skill.
We have been so grateful for the time Emma and Jamal have spent undertaking this activity and how much it will continue to have an impact, words cannot emphasise, and I cannot thank them enough.”
The British Judo Association extend their thanks to Campion School and their pupils for making this a fantastic visit for Emma and Jamal.