June 5, 2015
On Wednesday the British Judo Association, the national governing body for the Olympic sport of Judo in Great Britain, hosted the launch event of Throw Yourself Into Judo, a new mass-participation initiative aimed at encouraging new people to try the sport.
Held at the Budokwai, Europe’s oldest judo club, the day begun with British Judo Association Chairman Kerrith Brown and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Scoular addressing the delegates; the initiative was then officially launched at 11:00 with the transmission of a Thunderclap across Twitter, which reached over a million users.
The launch event was well-attended by representatives from the sport and associated organisations, including Sport England, the Sport and Recreational Alliance and BUCS.
Robert Freeman, the new Mayor for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, was also present as one of his first official engagements as Mayor.
Speaking at the event, he said: “It’s fantastic to be here today amongst so many active children and adults to learn about Throw Yourself into Judo; the sport is a great tool for encouraging healthy lifestyles and boosting self-confidence in young people and we’re very supportive of the campaign’s aims.”
Children from the Budokwai and other clubs in the area also took part in a typical coaching session and in a first for British Judo, this was broadcast live across Periscope, with over 100 people tuning in from across the globe. TeamGB athlete Nekoda Davis also provided a running commentary throughout the session, explaining the fundamentals of the sport to the audience.
Nekoda was then joined by fellow GB athletes Ebony Drysdale-Dalley, Sam Hall, Gemma Howell, Bekky Livesey, Conor Murphy, Chris Skelley and Jemima Yeats-Brown for a sparring session.
“It’s so important to get kids involved in sport from a young age and to do something that they love; when I first started judo at an after-school club I never thought it would take me to where I am today and the Throw Yourself Into Judo campaign is a great way of providing people with the opportunity to try out the sport”, said Nekoda, who will be competing at the European Games in Azerbaijan next month.
Speaking at the launch, British Judo Chair Kerrith Brown said: “It’s been a fantastic day at the Budokwai and the club has provided the perfect setting for the event. Through Throw Yourself Into Judo, we hope to widen the reach of the sport and engage with people of all ages and we look forward to building on the success of today’s launch and continuing to raise awareness of the sport’s many benefits.”
British Judo CEO Andrew Scoular added: “It was fantastic to have so many people here to come and support the start of the Throw Yourself Into Judo campaign.
“It was a great way to showcase our sport and we hope today has inspired people across the country to have a go at judo.”
For more information about the campaign visit www.throwyourselfintojudo.com.