Get Involved in Judo
Learn more about this international sport
Last Updated: 04/07/12 2:57pm
Judo is one of the most breathtaking and widely practiced Olympic sports in the world.
The British Judo Association has more than 950 clubs with 30,000 members and has a motto of 'judo for all' as people of all ages, abilities and fitness levels can practice the sport which has a non-competitive and highly-motivating grading scheme.
British Judo also has a world-class Visually Impaired programme with their London 2012 Paralympic hopefuls including double VI world champion Ben Quilter and VI European champion Sam Ingram.
British Judo Association's Chief Executive Officer, Scott McCarthy, believes the sport can engage and benefit any audience.
"With weight categories, age bands, and clear progression pathways through the grading system judo is sport that truly caters for everyone - regardless of shape, size, gender, ethnicity or ability," he said.
"The sport has something to offer to anyone who is interested in gaining physical skills, core stability, confidence, strength and discipline. It is an educational platform as well as an Olympic sport."
To find out more, Get Involved visited Ghosia Judo Club; a mosque-based club that has linked up with Bolton Wanderers Community Trust as part of the Premier League 4 Sport initiative to engage more youngsters in sport.
The Ghosia Judo Club venue was refurbished last year to contain a permanent dojo, and on average attracts 50 participants a session, aged between five and 15.
British Judo Technical Officer Kerry Finney said: "The young players we've had at the club have been fantastic. They're keen to learn and have really enjoyed the fun elements to the Olympic sport of Judo.
"I think the club's success bodes very well for the future of the sport in the area. Hopefully we can see a generation of Judo players from Bolton progress into the competition arena.
"It's definitely a sport for all. All shapes, all sizes from young to old. From five years old to 60, 70 and 80, everyone is participating in the sport."
Parents of children attending the Ghosia Club are equally enthusiastic, stating: "In Asian communities, there's always an issue with girls getting involved in sport but the parents have seen what's happening with the boys - the popularity that's building and they want that for the girls too. They absolutely love it.
"It's really good what they're doing here with the girls because they bring that confidence and plus it's important to socialise with boys and girls."
Support is also forthcoming from Bolton Wanderers players - in particular Iceland full-back Gretar Steinsson, who says sports like judo are popular in his homeland.
Steinsson told Get Involved: "It's really good what they're doing here with the girls because they bring that confidence and plus it's important to socialise with boys and girls."
Ghosia Judo Club is based at Ghosia Community Centre, St Paul's Mill, Barbara Street, Bolton, BL3 6UQ. Training takes place on a Tuesday from 7.15pm to 8.30pm.
To find your nearest club the British Judo website or call British Judo on 01509 631670