First ever NI Judo Adaptive Open held at Foyle Arena
21 February 2020
A little piece of Judo history was made at the Foyle Arena at the weekend as 40 adaptive players from across Ireland and the UK took to the mats for the first ever Northern Ireland Judo Adaptive Open.
Adaptive sports are competitive or recreational sports for people with disabilities where the individual needs of each player are catered for.
The Northern Ireland Judo Federation, who are hosting all their major events in the Derry City and Strabane District Council facility this year, hope the event will be a springboard for further inclusive events.
“We wanted to get this right, not only for the players, but their families and coaches who made the effort to attend from far and wide,” said NIJF Chairman Bill Taggart.
“It seems we have done that so far as there were smiles, hugs and handshakes all around from the competitors, families and their coaches.
“I’d like to thank all the event organisers, officials, volunteers, coaches, the competitors and their families for their help and support in making our first event so memorable.
“The best part for me was people asking when they can come back,” he added.
Alongside the Adaptive Open, over 80 of the top Minors (8 years to 11 years old) in Northern Ireland Judo contested the Minor Championship.
Fierce competition took place as the younger Judoka vied to win the title of NI Champion and claim their place on the podium.
The next major fixture in the Foyle Arena is the Northern Ireland Open in April, where over 500 top competitors will take to the mat as they try to win ranking points, medals and qualification to further events.
The Foyle Arena includes an event space that can cater for 2,000 people.
Other facilities include a 25m swimming pool with a movable/ adjustable floor alongside a separate children’s pool and a new outdoor floodlit 3G synthetic five-a-side pitch.
The climbing area which is designed to cater for all levels from complete beginners to international competitors boasts an international standard 15m high competition climbing wall complemented by a technical bouldering section, the most advanced of its kind anywhere in Ireland.
To learn more out more about the Foyle Arena and what it has to offer, visit derrystrabaneleisure.com/foyle-arena, email [email protected] or call 028 71 376555 and to find your nearest Judo club, log on to www.nijudo.com.