The state of the planet and the consequences of global warming on our lives are subjects that greatly concern the judo family. For several years, the IJF has understood its responsibilities, deciding to take action to limit its impact on the planet. This included the appointment of two Climate Ambassadors and the launch of initiatives such as 'Plant a Tree,' which was the theme of World Judo Day in 2019. More and more IJF events are also made environmentally friendly.

We are very happy to see that those initiatives find an echo within our judo community. Destination Judo is a junior judo club for children aged 5-17, based in East Central Scotland in the UK. They are active in promoting a safe, clean and sustainable environement.

Karen Preston, from Destination Judo, explains, "We believe strongly in promoting the judo values and over the past 15 or so years have supported a wide range of charitable causes close to the hearts of our members, like The Children’s Marathon Challenge (for Children with Leukaemia), Sarah’s Promise (to build a centre in Tanzania for children made homeless due to Aids) and Harmeny Education Trust (to support a residential school for disadvantaged children in Scotland), to name a few.

We’ve come up with a wide range of ideas to challenge ourselves and raise money. We’ve sold merchandise, run raffles and held charity dinners. Our judoka have learned Japanese, done sponsored throws and completed the ‘Neverest’ challenge. Coaches and parents have been sponsored to climb, trek and cycle, north, south, east and west, doing what they can to support our chosen causes."

The results are impressive, "Over the past 15 years, the families and coaches of Destination Judo have raised over £200,000."

Among the causes that the club decided to support is a climate change action. "We hear so much now about the climate and the dangers we face. We see and hear about it every day. We believed that we could engage and inspire children by showing them how they can get involved personally and make a difference," details Karen.

"We chose a variety of challenges, where the children could contribute directly to helping the environment, like litter picks, recycling belts and other activities for raising sponsorship money to support specific charities such as the Woodland Trust Scotland and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. We can see areas of woodland/green space being built on and we often hear about the decline in our seabird population on the news; this is something that’s visible to quite a few of our clubs based on their coastal location.

Everest base camp

When the IJF launched the climate challenges a few years ago, it was a source of inspiration. The children and their families have been very engaged, angry even while doing litter picks, at some of the sights they’ve seen!”

Coaches and parents have been sponsored to climb, trek and cycle, north, south, east and west, doing what they can to support our chosen causes.

The fight against climate change is engaged but is only in its infancy. So Destination Judo's message is clear, "Watch this space!" There is a lot we can do individually and collectively. Inspiring and being inspired by the actions of the children of Destination Judo is a lesson, a lesson that can change the world.

See also