State Street Guernsey Provides Funding For Judo Association of Guernsey

 

Mitch Agnelli (dressed in blue keikogi) and Andrew Thompson (not in a ‘gi’) together with members of the Judo Association of Guernsey, standing and kneeling on the yellow judo mats funded by State Street Guernsey.

The Judo Association of Guernsey (JAG) has recently been able to replace their judo mats thanks to a funding grant of £3000 received from State Street Guernsey and this will assist the club in achieving its aim of providing the opportunity for all members of the community, no matter what age, gender or ability, to participate in healthy recreation and to encourage young people to take up the sport of judo at local schools - including special needs schools.

“We learned of JAG’s community spirited work when Mitch Agnelli, the chairman and founder of the club was interviewed on local radio.” Said Andrew Thompson, Operations Manager for State Street Custody Services (Guernsey) Limited.  “We were particularly impressed by the all-inclusive nature of the club and the classes it runs at Le Rondin and Le Murier schools where young people have the opportunity to participate in a sporting activity.

In its fundamental form Judo is a sport that promotes a discipline of the body and mind and Mitch, a national and international champion, has been quick to see how these core principals can be used to promote well-being: “The benefits of judo for the children are many, it helps not only their self-esteem and self-confidence but also their movement and balance. The teachers at the schools have been amazed at the improvement in the children’s co-ordination and their communication skills.”  The club trains around 30 children from the two schools at its mid-week sessions, “I find it extremely rewarding,” says Mitch, “to be part of the team giving these children the opportunity to learn the sport. We have to be aware of each child’s disability and tailor the lesson to suit their needs.  It is a humbling experience to see how they cope with their particular disability and their smiling faces at the end of each session is reward enough.

As well as the work undertaken at Le Rondin and Le Murier JAG runs its weekly meetings on a Saturday afternoon at the Grammar School gym.  The club has approximately 45 members with a wide range of ages and levels of experience.  “When we visited the club for the official presentation of the mats,” said Mr Thompson, “It was great to see the enthusiasm of all the members and the commitment and dedication shown by the coaches is tremendous.  State Street is very pleased to have been able to support the club through our Community Support Programme and we wish them every success in their future endeavors.”

The Judo Association of Guernsey is the governing body for the sport of judo within Guernsey and liaises with the Guernsey Sports Commission, the Island Games, and Commonwealth Games Associations in all matters relating to judo.  The next major event JAG will be involved with is the Channel Island Junior Championships at Beau Sejour, Dave Ferguson Hall on Saturday 4th July. 2015.