Anne Marie was asked to do a profile for the IJA. Unfortunately only one page was available. The whole profile can be read below!
'I am Anne Marie McCluskey from The Judo Academy. I have been involved in coaching for 15 years and although I began my judo journey later in life, along with my husband Stephen and daughter Grace have established The Judo Academy with over 400 players every week. I have been heavily involved in the promotion of ‘females in sport’ and the physical and emotional benefits of judo for that demographic.
Before the ‘lockdown’ scenario that we are all facing, we had built great relationships with other clubs, especially our friends in Galway Judo Club, whom we shared a training camp in Holland in February. We have also shared many club exchanges and hosted Ulster Squad sessions that are open to all judoka.
Before we stopped practicing on the mats, we had planned a club grading for the end of March. Many members were disappointed at the shut down and we decided to try to find a way to carry out a grading online.
The work on the mats was completed, so we designed a series of assessments that everyone could complete at home. It involved ‘comprehension’ style assignments with all answers being through our website grading page, blog and the various online resources specified. It was a huge success with over 100 members taking part and achieving the next grade. We were able to post the new grades to the home address which went down a treat.
The second method of communicating we used was our Twitter feed where we post regular updates, share photos, set challenges, and generally engage with the members. The sharing of short videos of home training and initiatives has been a valuable tool for keeping people involved so far.
We have also built a Youtube channel to further enhance the online presence and invited the members to subscribe for free to watch interactive tutorials and recommended training sessions. It has been fantastic to see photos of the children doing their exercises while watching us on screen.
Getting back on the mats will be a challenge for every club and every coach, but I know that both clubs and the governing body are working extremely hard to retain clubs, coaches, and members.
We are sure that everyone will be working hard to keep Judo moving forward through this time. If we can do anything to help anyone in the process of returning to the mat, please feel free to speak with us!
Feel free to subscribe to our Youtube channel and Twitter feed @thejudoacademy.
Contact details through website www.thejudoacademy.com'