The buzz of excitement was apparent on Saturday at the British Judo Centre of Excellence dojo as over 100 judoka of all disabilities enjoyed a day of judo at the National Inclusion Open Training Day, courtesy of the BJA.
Judoka from across the country travelled to Walsall and the day was a huge success. With all mats full of smiling faces and eager athletes, it created an environment for enjoyment by everyone who joined us from a host of clubs across the United Kingdom.
The day offered the opportunity to promote more inclusive judo opportunities for all levels of judo, whether you were taking your first steps onto the mat at grassroots level, or you were competing for the GB Squads at Performance level.
Each and every player took part in a variety of games and challenges set by the coaches to help improve and develop their individual levels of judo, whilst having fun at the same time.
Throughout the day, the athletes all had the opportunity to experience coaching from an elite level with the likes of Paralympic GB Judo Coach Ian Johns, GB Special Needs Coach Jo Imrie, GB Judo Strength and Conditioning Coach Allan MacDonald all on hand to lead sessions as well as being ably assisted by Rio 2016 Paralympians Natalie Greenhough and Jack Hodgson.
The day offered the opportunity for the athletes to train together and the initiative shows how it is possibly overcome barriers to inclusion and to provide a future focus for inclusion at both grassroots and performance levels.
Kerry Tansey, who delivers the BJA Special Needs syllabus, said “It has been another fantastic day of judo for all concerned. It is now the third year that we have run this event and it seems to be bigger and better every year!
Just seeing the smiles on the faces of all of the athletes training and having fun makes it worth while. Having the likes of Natalie and Jack attend the day along with the GB Judo Coaches demonstrates the strength of the judo family we have around us.”
Did you miss the event on Saturday? Fear not, take a look at the video below and watch the fun had by all……..