Thank you - Parental Engagement

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Posted: 28/02/2019

We hope you have enjoyed reading about parental engagement throughout the past month (in case you missed it, you can read more here). 

Parents and guardians can have a significant impact on developing and maintaining a child's interest in sport. Our recently launched Kai Club continues this theme, and we hope all of our members under 8 years old enjoy progressing through this Club. You can read more here

Our final parental engagement is from Fiona Cairns of Just-Judo. 

Fiona was was initially enticed to give judo a go after seeing how much of a positive impact it was having on her daughter and how much she enjoyed her training sessions. Her coach at the time, embraced his role with such passion and with so much belief in all of the young judoka; that as a parent watching from the side, Fiona started to believe that perhaps she could do this too, and what an exciting challenge it would be to try.

Fiona's daughter fell in love with judo when she signed up to do a block of Active Schools sessions.  From that point onwards she was hooked and quickly became a club member. Years on, she still looks forward to every session and has so much fun developing her skills. Seeing how much she thrives on the mat; how much confidence Judo gives her; and the wonderful positive growth mindset she is developing, has made Fiona an extremely proud parent.  As well as widening her circle of friends, judo has supported her to become a well-rounded young person with a strong sense of respect, modesty, self-control and courage. Judo has now become a huge part of  family life with her mother,  brother, sister, cousin, and auntie all following in her footsteps. 

Without much encouragement, Fiona enthusiastically took her first ever step on to the mat in December 2014. At the time her daughter’s club didn’t have a senior class and so her debut was the result of an invite to another club. Although keen, Fiona was also incredibly nervous and wondered what on earth she was doing taking up a contact sport for the first time in her 30’s! However, as a huge believer in all things happening for a reason, Fiona grabbed the opportunity to go along.  Fiona said "I was made so welcome by all and can honestly say I’d never had so much fun!"

Fiona then signed up to take part in Just Judo's senior class when it launched and said …"It has been a great way to get fit and keep fit – every training session works every part of you, including the brain. Healthy body and healthy mind!

As a person, I have grown - I have set myself goals that at one time I would never have dreamt were possible. When I started judo I’d collapse in stitches of laughter at my feeble attempts to do a backwards roll let alone a cartwheel! Since then, I’ve completed gradings and I’ve enjoyed participating in The Gathering.  Today, every session continues to bring new challenges and with them a sense of accomplishment. 

More than anything else, becoming a judoka has enlightened me. Stepping on to the mat and participating rather than spectating from the side, has given me a newfound appreciation of just how wonderful, brave and resilient all of our youngsters are. Every time they fall down and get back up; every time they lose a fight and fight again; every time they pull their own performance apart and then put it back together again; every day they strive to be better than the day before!  I have a huge respect for each one of them and for the coaches that stand alongside them!".

Fiona also added: "One of the things I love about judo, that my children and myself have all benefitted from, is the incredible support! The club has a great sense of community; children, seniors, parents and the coaches all support each other, regardless of level, ability or reason for being there. How wonderful it is to also see this spirit amongst other clubs when at competitions; and amongst the parents, judoka and the coaches at the National Training Centre where my eldest attends weekly training.  I am so pleased my children are involved with a sport where they are truly nurtured by their coaches who are not only experts in their field, but also passionate about their sport and most importantly passionate about coaching.

Few other sports would give our youngsters the opportunity to be coached or attend training sessions with Olympians, Commonwealth Medallists, World-Renowned Judoka, and British Champions.  As a parent, I have huge respect for a sport which installs such attributes and qualities within its athletes, that they enthusiastically give back to the younger generation. By working with our children and encouraging them to follow their dreams, in many ways they make the possibilities all the more real for them."