Stephen McCluskey
Lead Coach

With over 40 years experience in Judo, Stephen has competed at the highest level across the Globe. After becoming British Champion at the age of fifteen, Stephen represented GB to win a Gold medal and became Britain's only World School's Champion in that year. 

  • Multiple Northern Ireland champion

  • Multiple All Ireland title

  • 2 x British Schools titles

  • 1 x World Schools title

  • 4 x Irish Inter varsity titles

  • 3 x British University titles

  • 4 x British C'ship bronze medals

  • 1 x Canadian National Exhibition Champion

  • 1 x Welsh Senior Open title

Grace McCluskey

Former Northern Ireland Champion, Grace is currently a Brown Belt and working towards Black Belt. Grace has recently achieved her Level 1 Coach Award.

Grace is known for her lightning Uchi Komi and 'big' throwing techniques!!  Her favourite techniques are O Goshi (major hip throw), O Uchi Gari (major inner reap) and Kami Shiho Gatame (upper four quarters hold).

Patrick Toal

Patrick started his Judo as a child and went on to compete and win medals around the world.  At the age of 17 he left the sport as 1st Kyu and returned to attain his Black Belt.  Patrick has since brought his family to The Judo Academy and become a Coach. With Patrick's excellent technical knowledge, he is an invaluable member of the Coaching team, working in with the Competitve and Adult sections of the Club! 

Will Gillespie

Will is a 3rd Dan Black Belt and has been involvedin judo for over 15 years.  Will is more commonly seem at the 5.00pm Wednesday class where his two daughters Lily and Eva are key members.  Will also studies BJJ and is a Leisure Centre Administrator.  Great with the children and is very patient and caring for all their needs. A great asset to The Judo Academy!

Anne Marie McCluskey
Lead Coach

'I started Judo relatively late in life, almost 15 years ago.  I enjoy the challenge of this diverse, very technical and exciting sport'.


Anne Marie is the Business Manager, Club Treasurer as well as one of the Senior Coaches (qualified - Level 2). 

She devotes her time to the operational, administrational and logistical requirements of running multiple schools and clubs.  Anne Marie is also one of the DCPO's for the club. 

Robert McCusker

Robert has been doing Judo for many years, having already a strong Martial Arts background with a Black Belt in Taekwondo and Blue Belt in Jujitsu.  Robert is also a qualified Tae Bo Instructor. Having enjoyed competing, Robert has gained medals in the Commonwealth Tournament, NI Championships & Irish Open! Robert is the Coach that quickly observes if someone needs help!

David Kerr
Coach/Welfare Officer

Davy started out his Judo journey as a spectator! Watching his young daughter Serena and son Aidan progress through the grades.  Having moved through his grades, he is now a Black Belt, Level 1 Coach and the Club Welfare Officer.  Always the one to bring fun and light heartedness to the mat.

Jonah Cartland

Jonah is the youngest coach at The Judo Academy,  He is also one of the founder members of the club, being with the club since he was 5 years old.  Jonah is a great example to everyone in the club and shows that with committment and perseverance, you can achieve not only high quality judo techniques, but can gain lifelong qualifications and skills!

John Murray

John has a long history in Martial Arts having spent many years studying Karate before moving into Judo.  John is currently a 1st Kyu Brown Belt and works alongside his son Ewan who has also spent many years at Judo.  Having been involved at The Judo Academy for over 10 years, John is now a coach and senior player. John loves helping new members to find their feet at the club and with his with his background in Karate, has a wealth of knowledge to offer.

The Judo Academy Welfare Officers (DCPO)


Lead Officer - David Kerr  - 07792787661 -


Designated Officer & Mental Health Officer - Anne Marie McCluskey - 07729520334 -


Designated Officer - Stephen McCluskey - 07729520334 -


Designated Officer - Robert McCusker - 07716003852 -


Mental Health Officer - Johny Colllins - 07940392931 -

Mental Health Officer - Grace McCluskey - 07713967692 -

Mental Health Officer - Jonah Cartland 


We have included a variety of contact numbers that can be used for Child safety issues in Sport or indeed in any situation that may arise.


At any time, you can talk to:


Local Children's Services Gateway team -  028 90507000 / 028 95049999


The PSNI Central Referral Unit - 028 90259299


The NSPCC N.Ireland Helpline


T: 0808 800 5000


E: or


The NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit


Paul Stephenson 


T: 028 90351135





The NIJF Safeguarding & Child Protection Officer 


Russell Brown


T: 07751748971




The Irish Judo Association Children's Officer 


John Martin


 T: 087 9595944