Belfast Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon issued a sporting challenge across Belfast on 26th September – The Best of Belfast Schools Sport Challenge a ‘Try It’ event!
Kookateki Judo Club embraced this opportunity to showcase judo to more than 1,000, 10 and 11 year olds who attended the event at the Mary Peters Track.
As part of the challenge, individual prizes will be given to pupils who show promise at a particular sport and the most enthusiastic pupils could see their school nominated to win £1,000 of sports equipment. This will be presented by the Lord Mayor at a special reception in City Hall later this year.
Each participant was also presented with a celebration Sports Day medal on the day.
Jonathan Cooke, head coach of Kookateki Judo Club, said: “Kookateki not only aims to increase participation in judo but also to provide the children with a fun, sporting activity that will give them another positive focus in their life outside of school.”
“Young people are our future and I wanted to hold an event that focussed in on them,” said the Lord Mayor.
“I want to encourage young people to take up sports and engage in a healthier lifestyle. The sooner they get involved the more likely they are to continue with physical activities throughout their life.
“Besides providing an outlet for their natural energy, sports presents a challenge, teaches teamwork, discipline, leadership and tactics all of which are valuable skills for life. It also gives them the opportunity to meet other young people from different backgrounds and importantly, it’s also fun,” added Councillor Mallon.
She said the wide range of sports available meant there was something that everyone could enjoy, not just traditional school sports but others including stilt walking, mountain biking, wall climbing, boccia and judo.
“Twenty sports were represented at the event, including some with Disability Sport NI Active Communities coaches, so it was a very inclusive event and I am really enjoyed taking part,” said the Lord Mayor.
The young people were also given a special pack at the end of the day’s event, detailing a range of sports clubs in Belfast where they can further pursue any of the sports they have taken an interest in.
You can find out more about Kookateki Judo Club here: www.kookatekijudoclub.co.uk