Cherry Judo Club have been established in the local Lincoln community for over 20 years, but following Covid, they returned to a reduced number of members taking part and identified that one of the biggest factors that prevented people participating was that they could not afford to attend the sessions or purchase the judo suits.
Thanks to Sport England’s Together Fund, distributed in the county by Active Lincolnshire, the Club were able to run Judo based fitness sessions to introduce children and adults to the self-defence sport, making it accessible for all to participate.
Sport England’s Together Fund existed to help reduce the negative impact of coronavirus and help community groups working with target audiences to grow and help more people. Active Lincolnshire, our county’s champions for the positive power of sport and physical activity for everyone, distributed the funding on behalf of Sport England and have been delighted with the impact that each project has delivered.
Two beginner’s courses were delivered as seven-week programmes and the Club welcomed over 40 participants, aged 5 up to adults. The sessions were developed so that they could learn basic judo skills, but by the end, everyone had completed several throws and hold-downs, as well as having a basic understanding of the application of these techniques. A ‘judogi’, the two-piece costume worn whilst competing in Judo, was provided to all who took part.
Participants have benefited in several ways, including gaining new self-defence skills, becoming fitter and stronger, growing in confidence and developing new friendships and bonds with their peers.
Eddie Sidsaph, an adult participant of the programme, told us,
“Cherry Judo Club helped me start my judo journey with their beginner’s course. I even went in for my red belt afterwards and enrolled my kids at the club. The beginners course introduces the basic principles and throws of judo all in a safe and clean environment. The club and courses are run by Barry and Charlotte, both instructors make you feel welcome, take the time to explain the moves and are very approachable. I would say to anyone thinking about taking up judo to get in touch with Cherry Judo Club and give it a go. It’s great for fitness, confidence, self-defence and meeting new people.”
Feedback from parents of the junior participants has been overwhelming positive, and parents have even noticed their new found confidence reflected at school. Cherry Judo parent Jacquie Buttery has seen a huge confidence change in her daughter after attending the sessions:
“The greatest thing about Cherry Judo has to be the wonderful, dedicated & inspiring coaches. Whenever one steps into the judo dojo there is immediate “family” connection & lifelong friendships are created through trusting each other while working through obstacles and fears. My daughter Poppy is a great example of facing her fears & obstacles, joining the beginner’s class back in Jan 2023 in tears to now in June 23 full of confidence proving joining Cherry Judo was one of the best things she has ever done. Excelling and gaining knowledge, Poppy has now achieved her red belt and yellow stripe. Thank you, Cherry Judo!”
Over 60% of those that attended the funded sessions, have continued to attend judo sessions with the Club, and Barry Lynas, Club Chair, is delighted with the response
“Without the funding, Cherry Judo Club would not have been able to offer this beginners course to so many people. We wouldn’t have been able to afford the additional venue hire costs to run a stand-alone beginners session and we wouldn’t have been able to provide participants with their own judo suit. In short, the funding made it possible for us to run the course as successfully as we did. It allowed us to reach a wider demographic due to reducing the cost for everyone involved.”
The Club plans to continue delivering taster sessions and ensuring that all that attend continue to learn and grow. They set everyone individual goals that are achievable and help them to achieve them any way they can. After taking part in the funded beginner course, members have now completed their first grading, so they have all been able to see their hard work come to fruition.
If you would like to find out how to get involved in Cherry Judo Club, please go online to https://www.cherryjudo.club/ or call the team on 07594 427097.