Mental Health in young Judoka

How our next generation of Judoka are overcoming their mental health journey

The impact of Covid-19 has affected many people over the last two years. Lancashire superstar, Amelia 8, from Kaidokan Judo Academy in Blackpool has been struggling tremendously with her mental health over the course of the pandemic. Throughout her mental health journey, Amelia has tried to support herself and Kaidokan Judo Academy as they pursue a new venue.Judo is like another family to me” which has encouraged her to support her Judo club.

Ross Goodwin, Coach at Kaidokan Judo Academy, Blackpool, said about Amelia: “she is a superstar, and remains unselfish by supporting others in Judo classes despite currently battling her own difficulties. We are supporting Amelia and very proud and lucky to have her as a major part of our team”

Amelia’s mental health journey

Amelia’s mum noticed that Amelia’s mental health had started to decline when lockdown started in March 2020 as she was finding it hard to be at home and not being able to see her friends. Caroline (mum) said:Amelia started to feel down about the whole situation and became a very shy and quiet little girl. It was clear she was missing her friends” Since the easing of lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions, things have improved a little for Amelia and she is now receiving extra support. Amelia still has a long way to go but Judo has a huge positive impact on her and her wellbeing.

To help Amelia’s mental health, she decided to do 28 minutes of exercise a day for the 28 days of February this year to raise money for the club as all the children wanted extra equipment.

Throughout February, Amelia raised £155  by completing activities including judo (of course!) swimming, fitness classes, running, football and more.Amelia loves football, judo, dance, running and walking. She wanted to use the skills she already had to make it a fun thing to get involved with” Her motivation and dedication to improve her mental health and wellbeing through fitness is encouraging to others! She had motived and inspired not only her Judo club (Kaidokan Judo Academy) but others within her community in Blackpool.

Amelia and Judo

Since she was very little Amelia has always been attending Ross’ Judo classes. When her brother Joseph started Judo at 5 years old, Amelia use to attend to watch him. However, when she was old enough to join herself, she took to the mat using all the knowledge that she had learn for almost two years while spectating her older brother’s classes. Amelia was determined to earn her red belt but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Judo was one of the last activities to return after lockdown which was sad for Amelia as she wanted to get back to the mat as soon as possible.

How has Judo and her club support her with her mental health

Being with friends that she can trust has been amazing. She has been very open with Ross about her feelings. She loves knowing that if she has had a bad day at school, she has somewhere safe to go to let out her frustrations. Ross understands when she is feeling low and gives her the time she needs, there is no pressure to attend every session.

Caroline (Amelia’s mum) saidpersonally, as a family we cannot thank Ross enough for everything that he has done for use and the other members of the club. He works so hard to ensure that the kids get the best of everything and most importantly he believes in all of them, no matter what”