Sport Ireland & Irish Judo Association
Women in Sport: Club Programme
#Change the Numbers 75/25 to 50/50


WIS Club Programme

Our WIS Programme to develop women in judo has been continuing despite Covid19. We have further developed an initiative to offer supports to Clubs this year to help you to attract and retain more female members in your judo club.

What do you get?

One on one connection with Antoinette Earl, Chair of the WIS Commission. Programme will run over several months to help you to plan for signing up and retaining more girls and women at your club. I will visit you in your club, join you on the mat to assess the experience of the club from a girl’s and women’s point of view. We can discuss the issues and interpret the current research around girls and women in sport and apply the latest ideas to your club. I will interview key people in your club to add to the picture of what girls’ judo is like in your club.

I can assist you with setting out your Strategic plan for the future of your club. We can explore what opportunities there are available to your club and how to overcome the barriers to having more girls in your club. I can help you generate ideas for your club, identify what ideas are most suitable for your club and plan for putting these ideas into action. Some of this is easy, some of it involves long term projects.

I will visit your club and be on the mat with you at least twice and follow up with phone calls and emails as you require. At the end of the process, I will write up a confidential report for you on what we have explored and planned. I will give you a package of documentation that will help you to continue this work.

Is there a cost?

Your commitment is all that is required. There is no cost to your club as this is funded by Sport Ireland Women in Sport.
What do you have to do?
Indicate your interest by contacting the WIS Chair – Judo, Antoinette Earl at or by phone 087 7036153. I look forward to hearing from you!

Update & Feedback – What have Clubs in the programme been saying?

This email is a reminder this development project is available to your club.
Each club has different issues and challenges in attracting and retaining women. A big question from clubs is: What do women want?
We know the answers to this so the next thing is: Can you give them what they want from Judo? Changing how you do things can be hard and it can be challenging.

Many clubs want help with finding girls and women for their club, that takes us back to the first question. As marketing is all about satisfying your members (customers) needs and wants awareness is important. I am currently using a professional firm to produce marketing materials for clubs and that will be available next month.

What is the place of ‘Fun’ in Judo? We know that fun is different for children and adults. How do you make judo fun for women? It is not always obvious, but it is always important.

Other issues arising are fitting women in to the club, making time and space for them; making a dojo a place that women want to train in, a place they feel welcome; rewarding women for their participation and recognising their achievements; making women in judo feel part of a bigger set-up than just their own club; mixing with other clubs in the area or region. Many club coaches have found that being in this programme puts the issue of our low female participation rates at the front of their mind and they have their own answers.

Who is Antoinette Earl?
4th Dan. I started Judo while at university over 40 years ago and have represented Ireland and New Zealand in Judo. As a young woman I competed in Scotland and Northern Ireland and as a Veteran in Canada, Australia, France and Belgium. I won 2 world veteran titles and medalled in the 4. I competed successfully in Kata in both New Zealand and Australia. Outside of competing, I coached both players and coaches, been a referee, contributed at provincial and national level in administration and of course assisted at tournaments. I have a post-graduate Diploma in Sport Management, specialising in Judo and I was a secondary school teacher for over 30 years. As well as Judo, I led groups in outdoor activities in New Zealand. We hiked, paddled, climbed and cycled around the coast, rivers and mountains.