The John Lyon’s Charity gives grants to benefit children and young people who live in nine boroughs in North West London: Barnet, Brent, Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Kensington & Chelsea and the Cities of London and Westminster. The Charity’s main policy is to promote the life-chances of children and young people through education.
In 2012, the Foundation received a grant of £4,200 from the John Lyon’s Charity towards increasing the number of girls in judo clubs in the Charity’s beneficial area. The grant had to be used by the summer of 2013.
A small amount of the grant was used to create a stock of judo suits for loan to clubs in the John Lyon’s Charity area in order to make it easier for girls try out judo.
The major part of the grant, however, was used to organize a two-day Women and Girls’ Judo Course with a special guest instructor, Maki Tsukada, Olympic and World Champion. The other trainer for the course was Nekoda Davis, GB team member and British and European No.1 at her weight. In addition, Marion Woodard, 6th Dan, provided an introduction to competition and competition rules for the coaches and judoka.
The course took place at the Ellen Wilkinson School, West Acton, in June 2013; it was organised by the Vice Chair of the Foundation, Bernard Richmond, in conjunction with Jo Crowley from the Ealing Judo Club.
The course was open to female judoka of all ages and levels and was free to participants. The free participation was an important factor in the success of the event as it provided a welcome break from the constant paying out required by any serious judoka and which can be prohibitive to some people from backgrounds where there is little money. Participants included girls from the school club, beginners from a local women’s’ project, club level judokas and members of the national squad.
The atmosphere was extremely positive throughout the course, which was a great success. The female judoka present thrived on the opportunity to learn from the special guest instructor and the senior judoka present were grateful for the opportunity, rarely available, to practice with a significant number of other women.
The Foundation has been asked to repeat the event and hopes to do so.