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We have so many fantastic coaches, referees, officials and volunteers within Judo-in-Scotland that we wanted to highlight just some of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of delivering Judo-in-Scotland.
If you are inspired by the stories below contact PaulMcguinness@judoscotland.com to start your journey.
TD Squad and Referee
"I started judo when I was 6. My older brother was doing judo through the active schools programme in my area and I'd often go and watch. Patrick Dawson was the coach and he made the classes fun. I asked my mum if I could go to the class with my brother and the rest as they say is history! Lee Calder has been in my judo life all this time and is not only my coach but he is a friend. Judo keeps me focused and I hate it when I am injured and can't train.
Refereeing wasn't something I saw myself doing but through the competitions I began talking to the referees and began to understand more about the scoring, penalties etc. Then a couple of years ago I received an email which basically said they were looking for people to train as referees, I put my name down and since then have refereed at quite a few events - Scottish Mini Mons, Scottish Age Bands, Granite City Grand Prix to name a few. I recently found out that I have been selected to referee at The British School Championships in March! Competing and refereeing hasn't really caused me any issues. There has been the odd occasion where I have refereed in the morning and competed in the afternoon but it doesn't happen that often.
I enjoy being a referee as it gives me the opportunity to learn new skills and understand the ever changing judo rules. My confidence has grown in the time I've been refereeing and I have learned a lot from the Senior Referees - James McBeath, Charlie Strachan, Neil Malone and Graeme MacLachlan. They give me lots of praise and encouragement during my training and continue to do so now."
SSF Volunteer and Co-ordinator
"I first became involved on the Judo girls rock programme back at the very start, my role within the project was helping to develop the youth work section. This then progressed and I was offered the role as Co-ordinator, supporting all the other Judo Girls Rocks session within the West of Scotland.
The things I have enjoyed most about being part of the project is seeing the girl’s journeys, as they come out there shell and are able to be more confident within the sessions. Overall I would encourage everyone to get involved with the Judo Girls Rock programme in any capacity they can as it’s ever growing and there are now many clubs throughout Scotland taking part in the programme."
Adaptive Judo Coach
"I started judo when I was 9 years old, my brother had a run in with some older boys so my dad decided that we need to do a martial art. We first attended a karate club on a Saturday morning we sat for ages waiting for the instructor to come over and speak to my dad (unfortunately or fortunately he never did). The following week we went to a judo club in Tottenham sports centre in North London.
For as long as I can remember Jidel Judo 93 have always had players on the mat with additional support needs but we never looked upon it as disability judo, it was just a class of judo. As the amount of additional needs players grew we thought that we better attend a workshop for coaching players with disabilities to make sure we were giving the best possible coaching for our judoka.
There has been lots of great stuff that has happen with coaching, but I am waiting for the day that one of our players achieves their black belt. A few of the players are on the road to achieving this.
My advice would be don't look at it as coaching people with a disability, just coach judo and adapt judo to your player’s needs!"