One of the objectives of the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture’s recently published Active 8 Plan for Sport is to encourage more islanders to be more active, more often.
A love of sport and activity can be encouraged from a very young age and the more opportunities pupils have to try sport at school, the more likely they are to lead active lifestyles in the future.
The Guernsey Sports Commission aims to ensure physical activity and/or sport is a ‘lifetime habit’ by supporting various initiatives to get different sports into schools.
Judo is just one sport that has been actively trying to get more children and young people to ‘give it a go’.
‘We have been running a two-day taster session at La Mare de Carteret Primary for the past four years introducing pupils from Reception to Year 6 to judo,’ said Ed Mann, Vice-Chair and Head Coach at Guernsey Judo.
‘This year we saw 261 children in 2 days.
‘We were then asked to go into Les Voies School and have been delivering sessions to between 10 and 12 young people once a week since January,’ said Ed.
But the Club is keen to do more.
‘Getting into schools has been hit and miss so far and it would be great to be able to do more taster sessions. I would love to work with secondary schools.’
The Club has now reached an agreement with Elizabeth College which means it can call the College’s sports hall its home. Ed says it’s the perfect set up and now gives them a 13m by 13m mat to work on. They hold both school and club sessions at the College.
‘We encourage children and young people to come outside of school – we now have ten pupils from La Mare de Carteret Primary who attend our club sessions,’ said Ed.
‘It gives them a lot of discipline but most of all it’s fun. There is structure in what they are doing when moving round the mat. It gives them balance. It gives them a feel good factor, they learn something and then they progress; they then have the opportunity to go away to competitions.’
Members of the Club had been training for the British Schools Judo Championships, with three students from Elizabeth College and one from Grammar School scheduled to take part in the event which was unfortunately cancelled.
Judo was also in the last Island Games in Gibraltar and the team came home with two bronze and one silver medal.
Anyone keen to take up the sport can contact the Guernsey Judo Club at firstname.lastname@example.org (sessions are currently on hold)