BARRHEAD schoolkids are swapping their jotters for judo lessons, thanks to East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure’s Active Schools team. 

Pupils from St John’s Primary and Carlibar Primary are getting active with weekly judo lessons at the Barrhead Foundry, supported by local club Sporting Judo Barrhead. 

Instructor Tommy Gillan has more than 40 years’ experience of the sport and has been leading the sessions with judo instructor and karate black belt Melissa Sulo.

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Tommy explained: “Judo has its own moral code with principles around respect, discipline, courage and friendship, so it’s ideal for school pupils and they also have a lot of fun. 

“Although it’s a competitive sport, we focus on fun and keeping kids interested in the martial art techniques.”

Barrhead Foundry hosts weekly judo sessions, on a Saturday and Thursday, as well as the Active Schools’ sessions which started in January. 

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Chris Rose, of East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure, said: “The lessons start with a warm-up session and discussion around where the martial art originates from.

“Judo is a fantastic sport for youngsters as it helps develop fitness, increases speed and agility as well as strength and flexibility. It also improves reaction time and increases self-confidence.”

The Barrhead Foundry will host new judo classes on Monday, from 6pm until 7pm. For more information, call 0141 580 1174.