The Senpai Programme

What is involved?

Up to 12 young people between the ages of 16 to 24 will have the opportunity to attend a number of educational workshops and experiences, these opportunities will aim to upskill the participants to take on additional challenges and responsibilities both in and outside of their club.

We want participants to build knowledge and skills through (SCQF accredited) learning opportunities delivered by Scottish Sports Futures.  After which, we aim to put the SSF learning into practice, each participant will have the chance to shape their own opportunity to build confidence and experience through informal learning, this may be taking on further responsibilities in the club or volunteering within roles provided by JudoScotland. We want participants to be better equipped for life both inside and outside of our sport.

As well as access to educational opportunities, participants will receive The Senpai Programme branded clothing and they will also have the chance to network with other young people allowing them to learn and share ideas between themselves.

In short, we aim to empower young people to undertake additional learning in order for them to actively contribute to their personal development and club support.


Participants will gain-


Learning from SCQF accredited workshop such as:

  • Working with Young People in Sport.
  • Planning Effective Physical Activity.
  • Goal Setting.
  • Developing Communication Skills.

Support and guidance to take on additional practical learning either in the club or through opportunities provided by JudoScotland.  We want the practical learning to be directed by the participants so that it has the greatest possible impact.

The Senpai Programme branded clothing.

A Senpai Role Descriptor, we want participants to leave the programme with a clear outline of their responsibilities and goals for the future.

What does Senpai mean

The term Senpai is often used within Judo club’s in Japan, those who perform the role of Senpai are seen as positive role models who offer help, guidance and support to younger members of their community (Kohai)

Senpai (先輩、せんぱい, “former born”)

(plural – senpais or senpai)

  1. Often used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues and students in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
  2. The Senior member of a group in Japanese arts; a mentor.
The 2024 Senpai Cohort

Why should I get involved?

Taking part in The Senpai Programme will give participants a greater understanding of the ever-changing sporting environment they sit within, we hope this can help to springboard those participating in the programme to have greater self-confidence in their knowledge and abilities.

We know young people in the judo community can add a lot of support, guidance and knowledge to those already in the position of club leaders.  We also know it is challenging for those current club leaders to develop additional skills and knowledge for young people whilst running a busy club, we hope this programme can give young individuals an additional opportunity to grow into a new role with little to no burden resting upon the club.


Applications will be accepted from December 18th to January 15th.

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance onto the Senpai Programme from the 22nd of January.

Who can take part?

The Senpai Programme will support people between the ages of 16 to 24 who are keen to learn and develop themselves.

Potential participants should be:

  • 16 to 24 years of age.
  • A JudoScotland member.
  • Actively engaged in a JudoScotland club.
  • You should be enthusiastic and passionate about judo.
  • Driven and ambitious to become a leader within your club and/or wider judo community.

We welcome applications from underrepresented groups, we will do our utmost to overcome any barriers to learning and/or the application of activities.

We ask all participants to read, understand and sign The Senpai Programme Agreement here