Southend Judo Club seals Paralympic legacy with free judo lessons

Southend Judo Club, in partnership with Southend-on-Sea’s Legacy 2012, has sealed a lifetime agreement to provide free training for anyone with a visual impairment.

Visually impaired (VI) judo is one of the world’s most widely practiced Paralympic sports and Britain boasts one of the most successful teams – as their judoka are fully integrated alongside fully sighted athletes – with such standouts as double VI world champion Ben Quilter and VI European Champion Sam Ingram.

From April the highly-regarded club, which annually stages the popular Southend International competition, will offer free training for anyone with a visual impairment.

Southend Judo Club Chairman John Horrigan said: “Inclusion in sport and life is important to us and working with VI judo players shows just how important that is.”

“We are in close contact with the British Judo’s VI team and can offer from beginner to champion route if required or just a fun sport and a method of self defence.

Three-time Paralympic medallist Ian Rose, who has staged coaching courses at the club, said: “This is great news and a fantastic achievement for everyone involved.”

The British Judo Association’s Chief Executive Officer, Scott McCarthy, believes the sport can engage and benefit any audience.

“With weight categories, age bands, and clear progression pathways through the grading system judo is sport that truly caters for everyone – regardless of shape, size, gender, ethnicity or ability,” he said.

“The sport has something to offer to anyone who is interested in gaining physical skills, core stability, confidence, strength and discipline. It is an educational platform as well as an Olympic sport.”

To register your interest please contact club chairman John Horrigan on 078999 61341

Southend Judo Club is based at Chase Sports and Fitness Centre, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 0PR