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Feb 24 2013

Olympics legacy gives Harrow youngsters a Fighting Chance

harrow_council_logoThe Olympic legacy is alive and well in Harrow, with sport giving a lifeline to the borough’s young people.

free eight week judo programme which aims to engage young people in sport, and is aimed at those who have either been involved in, or have been victims of anti social behaviour and bullying. The award winning programme has seen a significant reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour in the community and sees improvements in the self respect, self confidence and school attendance and grades of those who take part.

During the eight weeks, young people get the chance to take part in regular exercise, be educated from presentations on a range of topics, meet positive role models and learn new skills including discipline and self respect for themselves and others. At the end of the eight weeks, each young person takes part in a grading to achieve their yellow belt in judo, and everyone is encouraged to continue with the sport afterwards. Harrow Council is hoping to help it turn into a regular club from week nine.

Rikayla Dunn is 12 years old, and was referred to the scheme by her school. She has been taking part in Harrow’s programme for the last three weeks. She said: “My teachers told me that the judo club would be good for me, because my attitude needs to improve. If I wasn’t at judo I would probably just be at home doing nothing. So far I’ve been taught a lot about safety and we have just started on some on the moves. I’m really enjoying it so far because I’ve learnt a lot and I’ve been able to meet new people. I think I will continue with judo when the eight weeks are over. It’s great because although you’re physically fighting, you aren’t actually fighting and everyone is in the same boat. When I’m older I don’t want to look back and think that I wasted my childhood. I want to be able to say that I took the time to learn something and taking part in judo is a way of doing that.”

Lionel Hibbert is the coach at Harrow’s fighting chance judo club. He said: “I have high hopes for the young people here, and I think it’s a fantastic way for the Olympic Legacy to continue in Harrow.”

Marianne Locke, Harrow Council’s Divisional Director for Community and Culture, said: “I am delighted that this scheme is in place and it is a fantastic example of the Olympic legacy in action here in Harrow. This shows how sport can positively influence the lives of young people, helping them to become confident, successful and socially responsible individuals. Who knows, they could become the country’s next Olympic judo champions!”

Source: Harrow Council

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1 comment

  1. Disgruntled Resident

    It’s a pity that Harrow Council didn’t think of the Olympic Legacy when it put together their plans for the Vaughan School expansion.

    The legacy wasn’t ‘alive and well’ when they designed this …

    • Building on the schools only playing field
    • Reducing outdoor play space by over 10% whilst increasing the number of pupils by 50%
    • Creating a new 1200m2 multi use games area that the Harrow Council Drainage Team have advised will flood because they are having to lower the level of it to allow for the fact that they are building the school on a flood plain !

    However, I expect the Headmaster of Vaughan is happy to go along with this – after all the expansion of the school is one of his performance measures.

    Marianne Locke please note.

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