It was an exciting Friday for Team Mintridge last week as we had the pleasure of visiting Kingswood Secondary Academy for a Bronze judo Programme with our amazing Commonwealth Champion judo Ambassador, Nekoda Davis. We are extremely grateful that Kingswood Secondary Academy could benefit from this fantastic Programme donated by The Wilson Foundation.
With a busy day of judo planned, Nekoda started the morning with an inspirational presentation for the students who had been invited to be a part of the day. This was a fantastic opportunity for the students to meet Nekoda and hear all about her sporting journey and her very successful judo career. Nekoda’s presentation was full of key messages about the need to “train hard and win easy” and the importance of a surrounding yourself with a supportive team. It was also highly relevant to the students in the room who had never tried judo before, to know that in the beginning, Nekoda wasn’t a ready-made champion. After watching an exciting montage of Nekoda fighting and some of her greatest achievements, Nekoda opened the floor to questions. Some of the best questions were:
When you’ve been slammed to the ground, have you ever had a serious back injury?
Have you ever broken a bone?
How did you feel the first time when you stepped out in the Olympics?
Who is the scariest player to play against?
What is your favourite skill?
Before the start of our first coaching session, Nekoda delivered a second presentation to the group of boys who were going to be taking part in the day. They were focussing on the importance of having aspirations and how it is possible to achieve what you set your mind to. As Nekoda mentioned to the boys, she was unsure of her own aspirations until she really set her mind on judo and started striving towards being a Commonwealth and hopefully one day, Olympic champion.
The boys were incredibly receptive to the idea that an aspiration can be anything, big or small, and that small steps and goal setting are really all you need to start making those aspirations a reality.
Throughout the day Nekoda delivered two more of the small presentations to targeted groups, looking at the need for resilience and how to deal with pressure. As an elite athlete Nekoda has experienced numerous setbacks, injuries and losses, but her ability to bounce back and keep on working towards her goals, was an important message for the girls in the group to hear. At an important stage in their lives, learning how to deal with pressure and see it positively, was very beneficial for the older girls who will be taking their GCSE’s in the next academic year.
At the start of each coaching session the group put on their judo robes and prepared for the session ahead. Nekoda ensured that every student understood that judo is a sport that requires a great deal of discipline and focus. Every student lined up and took a bow or a “rei” and started to learn how to break fall, before heading into the different throws that Nekoda would show them how to preform correctly. It was so much fun to see the students getting really involved in the session and trying hard to compete with their partner. After Nekoda had taught them how to scarf hold or “Kesa Gatame”, they worked hard to keep their partner from getting away from their hold and pinning them.
Each group that took part in the coaching sessions fully embraced the challenges they faced and worked extremely hard to show off their new judo skills. Some of the lucky students from each session had the chance to throw Nekoda! It is certainly not everyday you can say you have been able to throw a Commonwealth champion.
At the end of each session the students were excited to have their photo taken with Nekoda and the Mintridge Twitter frame! As well as this Nekoda selected two students from the group to receive a Mintridge goody bag and signed certificate. Nekoda selected the students for working extremely hard in the session and really listening to the coaching points for the skills they were learning. At the end of each session the students also received a signed autograph card from Nekoda and the belief that they could try judo again in the future.
It was a fantastic day overall for the staff and students at Kingswood Secondary Academy, we are very grateful for their warm welcome and enthusiasm. Team Mintridge would like to give another big thank you to The Wilson Foundation for supporting the Programme and allowing the students to be inspired by their day with Nekoda.
It is always so great to hear what an inspiration our Mintridge Ambassadors are and the impact they have on our Programme days. You can see below just how powerful an inspirational Ambassador can be.
‘My daughter returned home on Friday after a Mintridge Bronze Programme with Nekoda Davis saying, “I want to devote my time to judo”. My daughter loved the sessions and she would now like to look at taking up Judo. She hasn’t enjoyed other sports as much and would now like to devote her time to judo instead.’
The above quote is taken from the parent of a child involved in The Wilson Foundation donated Bronze judo Programme at Kingswood Secondary Academy.
If you would like to see the photos from the day, please contact the staff at Kingswood Secondary Academy.
You can see the video from our day here at our YouTube channel via this link: https://youtu.be/uKX9lFzBlRc
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Wilson Foundation for their continued support, without which this programme could not take place.
We look forward to working with you again soon.