The Irish Judo Association received funding in 2017 from Sport Ireland to support & promote Women in Judo #thisgirlcanthrow.
We were delighted to announce that Ellie Dennis took up the mantle for this project. The objectives were too bring judo to girls & women between the ages of 13-19 (teenage girls) 20-45 (adult women), to promote girls & women doing judo by offering 6 classes of 1 hour for each group over a six week period. This project was aimed at girls/women who have never done judo or any martial art before & aimed at those girls & women who had participated in the past to renew their interest in judo by offering this opportunity. Fitness, flexibility and self-defence are the key issues being focussed on by our female coaches.
Ellie has submitted her first programme review to the Executive and we would like to show our members Ellie’s progress:
Week 1: There was a great turnout the first week of very nervous but eager ladies looking to try something new. The good thing was that most were out of their comfort zone but were willing to give everything I asked of them a go. We started with a warm up involving running, pulling and pushing themselves up the mat. I tried to get them to pair up as much as I could and change partner’s regularly. This was great as it got everyone mixing and getting comfortable with each other. Gradually we were pushing and pulling with a gym ball between partners, as it can be a bit daunting to be too up close and personal with people you don’t know. This worked well and built confidence. We ended every class with self-defence, the ladies really enjoyed this.
Week 2: This week was much of the same as week 1. More new faces arrived and it was a bank holiday which was great to see and even gave me a boost. The ladies were mixing better this week and keen to learn more.
Week 3:Numbers were strong this week. I could feel they wanted to do more so break-falling and judo gripping were part of this class. Nearly everyone took the opportunity to wear a Judogi at this stage.
Week 4: Judogi’s were on the ladies from the offset and we were practising basic judo techniques and some throwing onto the crash mats. They were really enthusiastic to throw me too! Confidence and motivation levels were rising.
Week 5: Much the same as week 4. We went over all the self -defence moves. Rolls and break-falls were much better and nerves gone. Everyone was engaging well.
Week 6: Everyone was up for anything I asked of them. The mood was positive. They were keen to continue and were sad the term was finished.
Overview: I found in just 6 weeks, I met people from all walks of life. Young teenage girls with so much enthusiasm and mothers of daughter’s keen to try Judo instead of been on the side line watching. I had two past black belts back on the mat after a spell of being away. There was plenty coming to a small village of Lusk from surrounding area’s which was great to see. Every week I promoted the class on social media and the IJA also did a great job of this too which I know helped. The average numbers of players in attendance each week was 15. I am looking forward to doing the next course and I am setting up a class straight after to feed the ladies into and make this a more permanent class going forward. The response was fantastic and if we can keep the ball rolling, I am confident the future for Ladies in Judo is very bright – Ellie Dennis.
The Irish Judo Association will announce the next dates for Ellie’s next 6 week programme, so if you know of any girls or women who would like to try judo, please make sure to let us know!