Posted: Fri 30th Oct 2020

Flintshire-based judo clubs collaboration sees benefits for children during COVID-19 pandemic

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Oct 30th, 2020

A collaboration between two Flintshire-based judo clubs has seen benefits for children prior to and over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both Deeside Judo Club and Mold Judo Club have been running for some time, the former being founded in the mid-1950s and the latter also open for decades.

The COVID-19 pandemic had unfortunately resulted in the two clubs shutting down classes and closing temporarily since they are contact sports operating indoors.

Prior to this however, the two collaborated to found ‘Flintshire Kids Judo’.

This coming together offers the children of both clubs greater opportunities to train, with them being the only two judo clubs in Flintshire, whilst also promoting the main principles of judo – Jita-Kyoei, mutual prosperity for self and others.

Prior to the initial lockdown, Andy Armstrong, one of the clubs’ junior coaches, was encouraging the children to enter competitions and had developed an active and competitive group which travelled over the North West and Midlands to compete and achieve success, coming away with gold and silver medals.

Andy said: “There are many reasons they take up the sport of judo – to socialise, be involved in the club, exercise, learn an Olympic sport or, as many of our children do, take part in competitions to test their ability against other children.

“In general, it’s our role as coaches to see that the kids have fun and go away with a sense of achievement and enthusiasm to want to return.”

There are currently seven coaches in total across the two clubs, including Andy, who are all affiliated to the British Judo Association and Welsh Judo Association, the national governing bodies for judo.

They all hold coaching qualifications from the national governing body, are first aid and safeguarding trained as well as DBS checked.

Due to COVID-19 suspending classes though, Andy has had to be the lead role in keeping the children active, healthy and involved in judo with the presence of classes missing and, in doing so, has further protected the future of both clubs.

Outdoor training sessions for the children were organised by Andy which the clubs say are popular.

Andy said: “Judo is a highly competitive sport and fitness levels need to be of a high standard, hence why we see it so important to maintain a good level of active exercise in preparation for the return of full contact judo.”

He added: “Judo is not only about sport – we encourage the kids to follow and respect the judo moral code.”

The judo moral code comprises a number of aspects:

  • Courtesy – to be polite to each other
  • Courage – to face difficulties with bravery
  • Honesty – to be sincere with your thoughts and actions
  • Honour – to do what is right and stand by your principles
  • Modesty – to be without ego in your action and thoughts
  • Respect – to appreciate others
  • Self-control – to be in control of your emotions
  • Friendship – to be a good companion and friend.

Feedback from both children and parents for the sessions organised and coached by Andy has been “amazing and incredibly positive”, say the clubs.

One parent, Emily Holland, commented: “Thanks ever so for all of your efforts – it does the kids’ physical and mental health the world of good. I don’t mind any amount of washing if it means the kids have enjoyed themselves!”

Lorna Timms, a parent who commented on a particular session, added: “Another fantastic day of fun and exercise in the outdoors – thank you.”

By Jordan Adams

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