This is the third year that I have been privileged to represent martial arts at the Presidents Sports Day, and the longest teaching day for me of the year.
It starts with an early drive down to Chelmsford Sports Park teaching from 10am until1.45pm. Then I have to race back to Norfolk to teach at RAF Feltwell, and finish at my Thetford club at 10pm.
It was a great drive down to the massive sports park to meet up with the rest of the coaches and friends that I have made over the years. It wasn’t long before the coaches and minibuses started to arrive with very eager students ready for a fun filled day of events.
With activities ranging from Ju Jitsu, boxing, gymnastics, badminton, football, and volley ball they sure had lots to entertain them throughout the day. It was going to be another busy year with 6 teaching slots throughout the day with a twenty minute break for lunch.
The first group were from a small school in the local area. I started the session with a warm up followed by some team games. We finished with pad work which they always like to do. As the sessions were so intense the time went very quickly.
By the time we had finished the first session the second group were already getting their shoes and socks off ready to get onto the mats. There was no time for a break as it was straight into the next group. I was able to do a lot more Ju Jitsu with the second group. They even got the chance to have a few fights, getting the belt of their opponent, which they really enjoyed. It is always great to see old faces and how happy they are to see me again.
One more session to go before lunch break, it was starting to get really busy. I couldn’t believe how many we had for our last lesson there were so many we just about got them all on the mats. This was the highlight session of the day, as I was able to really work them hard. I even got them to have a go at our new style of burpees, which went down like a storm.
Near the end good old Frank Bruno and Peter Shilton turned up to have a look. They were both amazed and impressed by what the pupils were being put through. It was great to see Peter and especially Frank for a good old chat and giggle. We all decided to have a couple of selfie photos done instead of the usual photos that I have done over the years. It was time for lunch and a cup of tea with frank outside in the sun before I had two more sessions to end the day.
The first session was a good session with so many old pupils that I had taught over the last two years. It was great to see that they had remembered me and gave me a big smile. As always they were a pleasure to teach, and it was so amazing how much effort and determination they gave me in the lessons.
Before I knew it the day had come to an end, and it was time to say goodbye to everyone for a third year. It was a truly amazing day to be given the opportunity to work with such wonderful children. They all worked so hard with whatever disability they had, and never gave up. They loved doing grappling, especially with me for some reason.
I have been teaching disabled children for eleven years now, and it gives me so much pleasure and makes me feel how lucky I am to have these kinds of opportunities as a martial arts instructor.