The SchoolJudo project, aiming to offer access to judo for thousands of children across the continent in the coming years, is really taking shape and the first schools involved are gearing up for their first introduction to the scheme, in the Spring of 2022.
In Ljubljana there are 3 schools with 3 different Entertrainers (specially trained judo coaches) and at each venue there are 40-60 children ready to begins each of the schools has already been involved in school projects and has had a tats test of judo, but the aim is to change the approach to include more value-based learning.
In Hungary the judo federation is actively supporting the project and have sourced one school and one Entertrainer for the pilot. They are continuing to communicate with further schools with the aim of increasing the provision.
In Italy a very special Entertrainer has come on board with the project. Giulia Quintavalle was Olympic champion in 2008 in Beijing. With a science degree and a vast amount of experience in high performance judo and also in coaching, she is a great addition to the team. Her participation is linked to some specific project criteria, to form part of the career of elite athletes as they move forward from the competitive stage. Providing meaningful pathways for such high level judoka is important and will create quite a buzz among the parents and children of the Italian arm of the project.
Ruben Houkes, world champion himself and Chair of the Commission, is pleased to see that in each of the countries there is a positive drive to fulfil all the criteria laid out at the beginning. As a whole project both the aims and the outcomes serve to prove that judo really is more than sport.
“Where we are now and the way these pilots are being developed fits with the vision of the project. We are basing this project on existing school projects in the 3 countries, adding a layer of support and education on top, in order to implement a vision, leveraging the values and adapting and improving delivery. Judo is becoming, even more clearly, a vehicle for children to learn in a coherent, fun environment and transfer that embedding of values into their adult lives.”
The pilots are planned for March 2022.