What is the Fighting Chance Project?

The Fighting Chance Project (Scotland) is a Registered Scottish Charity (SC045230) and a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee (SC482397) established in July 2014 “dedicated to helping disadvantaged or disengaged young people realise their potential through sharing with them the values of judo”.

Our Mission & Vision

The mission for Fighting Chance Project (Scotland) is to help educate, motivate and inspire young people to make positive changes in their lives by becoming actively engaged in judo or low impact movement and conditioning. The long-term aim is to improve the individual’s health and wellbeing, their employability whilst developing their sense of citizenship and community resulting in an enhanced quality of life. Our vision is to contribute towards improvement and positive outcomes in individual’s academic, relationships and general fitness, health and wellbeing through a sporting activity. Working in areas of multiple deprivations, we encourage participants to embrace values such as Self-confidence, Self-control and Respect instilling in them a sense of pride in their achievements.

Why is Judo so good at helping people?

Judo is an Olympic sport and martial art that has a long history of bringing both physical and mental benefits. The physical benefits are balance, coordination, efficiency of movement, overall fitness, strength and control whilst the mental benefits are improved self-confidence, self-respect and self-discipline. All of the benefits help improve confidence both on and off the mat that can have a further positive effect on participants overall health and well-being which in turn leads to a happier and healthier lifestyle. Results show a measured improvement across a number of indices including relationship building, a decrease in poor behaviours such as classroom disruption or aggression towards their peers and teachers and a reduction in school exclusions.

Who can take part?

We are particularly interested in helping individuals aged between 11-23 who are disadvantaged or disengaged through financial constraints, are socially isolated or lack positive role models, have low self-confidence or self-esteem, are victims of neglect, crime or bullying and who may engage or be at risk of taking part in low level antisocial behaviour or from being excluded from education by offering them the chance to take part in the Yellow Belt Challenge.

How will the Judo be delivered?

We see the Fighting Chance Project (Scotland) working as a facilitator to introduce young people to judo using two delivery models. The first is to take judo directly into secondary and feeder primary schools during the school day working with pupils referred to us due to their Social, Emotional or Behavioural (SEB) issues or other Additional Support Needs (ASN). The second method is to support young people into their local judo club either as an individual or in small groups such as outreach projects with, for example, Local Authority community learning teams. Working with clubs and coaches we aim to secure sufficient funding to cover the introductory cost of the Yellow Belt Challenge.

Here's the deal!

We hope to remove some of the barriers to starting judo but as a small charity we have limited funds available to us and will only be able to help the most financially needy on the recommendation of club coaches or secretaries who can vouch for each individual. Successful candidates who meet our criteria, generally that means the young person lives in an area of social deprivation and is eligible for free school meals (www.gov.scot/ Free School Meals), will receive free membership to JudoScotland and free grading(s) up to yellow belt. To beat the Yellow Belt Challenge each candidate needs to attend regular judo sessions and commit to learning the skills needed to pass the JudoScotland syllabi for red and yellow belt grades.

How can I refer a young person?

The easiest way to sign someone up for the Yellow Belt Challenge is on this website at our registration page. Better still the young person can complete the online application themselves. Once registered and validated a Yellow Belt Challenge pack will be posted to the young person containing everything they need to start the challenge.

The Fighting Chance Team

Small statement about the fighting chance team here

Charlie Watt, BSc

Co-founder and Former Chairman

Charlie’s expertise in Business Growth, Marketing and Economic Development was gained through implementing projects with The World Bank as a senior policy adviser, at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Commission, as a Senior Director at Scottish Enterprise and in the private sector with BT.
He is passionate about improving the quality of lives of young people through the values of Judo.

Charlie resigned from the Board in 2019.

Jim Feenan, MSc

Co-founder and Director

6th Dan, FCIMSPA (Chartered), FInstLM, Honorary VP JudoScotland

Jim has had an extensive career in telecommunications working in the UK and Europe for a number of large corporations in a variety of senior roles.

In January 2021 Jim became a Chartered Manager Fellow of CIMSPA and in January 2017 he completed a MSc in Advanced Sport Coaching Practice with Sheffield Hallam University. He is a UKCC Level 4 and BJA Level 5 coach running the successful Carnegie Judo Club in Dunfermline. He is a former director and chair of JudoScotland, director of the British Judo Association and is currently an honorary vice president of JudoScotland.

Iain Feenan, BSc(Hons)

Technical Advisor

Iain is a 3rd Dan and former Scottish Institute of Scotland athlete, Scottish and GB Internationalist competing in European, World and Olympic cycles. He has a BSc Hons degree in coaching & sport science. A UKCC Level 2 coach, lead technical coach to Carnegie Judo Club and founder of FUdog Martial Arts.

Would you like to know more?

Get in touch today to learn how you can get involved with Fighting Chance, be it as an instructor, participant or sponsor.

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