On March 16, close to 100 junior athletes from across the country gathered at the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff for the first UKBJJA Junior Development Day.
The event was free to UKBJJA members and was designed to give kids from different teams, backgrounds and regions chance to develop their Jiu Jitsu in a friendly and co-operative environment.
At this session, the kids had chance to learn from British freestyle wrestling champion and Commonwealth games Silver medallist, Kane Charig - as well as BJJ Black Belts Omied Khakshour and Greg Creel.
To enable the event to be offered for free, all involved gave their time voluntarily - and the day was kindly sponsored by TATAMI Fightwear, who donated £50 gift vouchers to two lucky participants chosen at random. The winners were Ava Mai Cooksey and Will Southern.
Jimmy Johnstone, UKBJJA Youth Development Officer, said: "the purpose of this project is not to create a competition team, but instead to facilitate youth development, promote jiu jitsu to a wider audience and make jiu jitsu more accessible to young people. As well as the ability to train alongside young people with the same passion the kids benefit massively learning from a variety of teachers with different coaching styles and philosophies."
Mike Williams, UKBJJA CEO, said: "a lot of these kids compete with each other on a regular basis, so it was great to see them training together, supporting each other and having fun. We are intending to run these events on a monthly basis around the country, to give all our member kids a free opportunity to improve their skills, whether they compete or not.
Special thanks to the organisers, Jimmy Johnstone and Neil Williams and to Omied, Greg and Kane for donating their time and of course to all the kids and parents who took part. See you all at the next one!"
Would you like to get involved?
We rely on the support of individuals and companies to run events like this - if you would like to get involved with future Junior Development Days, we are looking for:
- Guest instructors
- Host academies or venues
- Volunteers to help on the day
If you can help, please email email@example.com
Not a UKBJJA members? JOIN NOW for just £15 per year