Barrhead pupils swap jotters for judo

Carlibar Primary School pupils  enjoying their judo classes.Carlibar Primary School pupils  enjoying their judo classes.
Carlibar Primary School pupils enjoying their judo classes.
Barrhead school pupils are swapping their jotters for judo lessons, thanks to East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure’s Active Schools’ team.

Pupils from St. John’s and Carlibar primaries are getting active with weekly judo lessons at Barrhead Foundry with local club Sporting Judo Barrhead.

Instructor Tommy Gillan has more than 40 years’ experience of the sport and has been leading the sessions with judo instructor and karate black belt Melissa Sulo.

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Tommy explained: “Judo has its own moral code with principles around respect, discipline, courage and friendship, so it’s ideal for school pupils and they also have a lot of fun.

“Although it’s a competitive sport, we focus on fun and keeping kids interested in the martial art techniques.”

East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure’s Active Schools team engaged the local club leading up to the Commonwealth Games in 2014, which was hosted in Glasgow. The teams have maintained interest in the ‘modern martial art’, following the resurgence in interest and Scotland’s strong track record in the sport.

Barrhead Foundry hosts weekly judo sessions, on a Saturday and Thursday, as well as the Active Schools’ sessions which started in January.

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Chris Rose from East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure said: “Judo is a fantastic sport for youngsters as it helps develop fitness, increases speed and agility as well as strength and flexibility. It’s also improves reaction time and increases self confidence.

“The pupils have been enjoying the lessons, which starts with a warm up session and discussion around where the martial art originates from before pupils get on the mat and get involved in practicing moves and techniques.”

Barrhead Foundry will host new judo classes on Monday from 6-7pm – for more information please contact the centre on 0141 580 1174.