Tayside Judo in Scotland, in collaboration with Perth & Kinross Active Schools, has launched a comprehensive and long-term project aimed at having a positive impact on the lives of young individuals.

In the Spring of 2024 Perth Grammar School hosted the first part of the project, providing opportunities for community integration and restoration, enhancing mental health and wellbeing, offering education around the development of employability and broader life skills, ultimately contributing to the creation of stronger communities.

David Scobbie receiving an award on behalf of Tayside Judo, Scotland.

The two coaches, David Scobbie and Aiden Moffat, have been working with the group following successful taster sessions. David said, “It all stemmed from a conversation with the Active School’s Co-ordinator, Bartosz, who knew we were delivering judo in primary schools as taster sessions. He told us there was a group of secondary school pupils with complex needs and he thought judo would be good for them. The school saw the value of it and invited us to come back on a more permanent basis.”

David Scobbie.

The project aims to deliver judo and strength and conditioning sessions to targeted pupils every week over a whole academic year. During those sessions, Tayside Judo educates young people around the judo values.

Scobbie and Moffat worked extensively to create the best possible programme and the benefits are already apparent among the group of pupils targeted. Staff and coaches have already noticed a marked improvement in strategies employed by the pupils for conflict resolution. One student stated, “Judo is the only thing that keeps me coming back to school.”

Aiden Moffat away competing in Riga, Latvia, March 2024.

The beauty of judo has also not been lost on the participants. “The pupils understand that judo is different from anything they have ever done before, it’s a clean slate.” says David Scobbie. Aiden Moffat still competes when not coaching, which garners interest from the new judoka. The pair’s work ethic is a great example of how judo can be used to make a positive contribution to society; the impact the classes have had on their community is clear already and with a lot more in the pipeline.

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