By Maria Pepper
Children with autism and their siblings obtained white belts in Judo Assist after an eight-week course in Westlands which was hosted by the Collective Sensory Group in association with Cottage Autism Network.
The course was conducted by instructor Sean Davitt and involved a dozen children from three years of age up to 11 years learning Judo skills. A second term is due to start in Westlands on Wednesday, September 21 from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm each week and all interested children and their parents are invited to participate. A Gorey course is also planned. Book a place by contacting the Cottage Autism Network or Collective Sensory Group Facebook pages.
An Olympic and Paralympic sport, Judo Assist is an inclusive programme based around the concept of sports for all and has great benefits for children on the autism spectrum who can find it difficult to participate in team sports.
The coaching techniques are adapted to suit the ability of the participants, focusing on what the athlets can do. There is no striking involved and the emphasis is on respect.
Apart from the fitness, social involvement, discipline, self-esteem and confidence boost that the the programme brings, it also assists with deep compression, core strength development and resistance training to help people focus and communicate more efficiently.