Judo programme gives youngsters a Fighting Chance

Arsenal in the Community in conjunction with Hackney Borough Council, The Metropolitan Police and British Judo recently launched an innovative new programme to celebrate this summer’s London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and help prevent localised anti-social behaviour.

The ‘Fighting Chance’ project, which takes place at the Kingshall Centre in Hackney, aims to help both young people and the community by engaging them in the positive activity of judo over an eight-week course.

The project educates, motivates and inspires young people to work hard and achieve successes in all forms of their young lives, using the technical and disciplinary skills learnt through judo. The first wave of participants saw 19 youngsters involved, with 17 successfully completing the course and grading up to a yellow belt.

At the end of their programme, the youngsters enjoyed a tour of Emirates Stadium and were presented with their accolades by Team GB Olympic hopefuls, Theo Spalding and Lee Shinkin.

Lee Quilter, Managing Director of Fighting Chance, said: “Thanks to some fantastic partnership work, the Hackney Fighting Chance programme has been a massive success. I never tire of seeing our young people rewarded with successful gradings after their commitment to the programme and these young people certainly earned their new grades. At Fighting Chance, our vision is to positively create change in the community, the young person, increase judo participation and discover British judo’s first ever Olympic Champion! Who knows maybe one of these young people might just go on to do that!”

John Keyes, Arsenal Kickz Hackney Lead, added: “It was brilliant to be able to run a programme of this quality with such great results. The young people have learnt so many new skills but above all, respect and discipline. This will serve them very well in their future lives. It also successfully helps to bring together a few Arsenal in the Community programmes, namely Kickz and Premier League 4 Sport which we hope to do more of in the future.”

For more information on the Fighting Chance Project, please contact Lee Quilter on lee.quilter@fightingchanceproject.co.uk