Scotland's first girls' only judo programme unveiled

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22 September 2015

A partnership between JudoScotland, Active East, Scottish Sports Futures and Youth Scotland has seen the launch of Scotland's first girls-only judo programme.  The west of Scotland based programme is designed to engage young females, a group at high risk of inactivity, through a 20 week judo programme.

Research has highlighted that only 41% of girls aged 13-15 in Scotland meet the target of an hour’s physical activity a day. The sessions, developed from an award winning pilot, will focus on physical movement similar to dance, introducing judo gradually.

The sessions will also incorporate workshops with a youth work approach to encourage a healthy lifestyle, from internet safety to healthy cooking.

Dougi Bryce, Chief Executive Officer at JudoScotland, said: “It is important to utilise the opportunities bestowed to us following the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Projects such as the west of Scotland girls' programme is just one way JudoScotland can harness that legacy and implement real change”

Kirsty Partridge, Programme Manager with Active East said: “We are proud to have Active Champions involved in not only the content development for the girls who will be participating in these fun sessions but who will also be part of this next phase as paid youth work support. Increasing levels of physical activity is a major focus for us, particularly with girls and Judo is a fantastic sport to engage girls of all ages and all abilities”.

Emma Reid, Development Manager, Scottish Sports Futures said: “SSF are delighted to be involved and look forward to learning and sharing best practice around engaging and retaining female participants. Scottish Government and Comic Relief recognise the potential for sport to positively impact a young person’s development and we welcome their support.”

Rebecca Simpson, Youth Active Manager at Youth Scotland, said “Working hard to improve the physical activity levels for girls and young women across Scotland in judo is an exciting and unique opportunity, and with Youth Scotland’s Girls on the Move project we are inspiring young women to pick up this sport and be active. The pilot programme has expanded to four sites across Glasgow, highlighting the importance of girls' only sessions. We look forward to developing the programme across Glasgow and Scotland.”

The west of Scotland girls' judo programme is keen to develop more than just female participation; it also aims to develop female coaches and volunteers. This approach has proven successful securing the development of the programme for the next three years, funded by a grant that is made under the Scottish Sports Relief Home and Away programme, helping to secure a legacy from the XX Commonwealth Games, and is 50% funded by the Scottish Government and 50% by Comic Relief.

If you would like to get involved in the Female Participation Judo Programme, please contact stephensomerville@judoscotland.com.