I started aikido in Heriot Watt University with Martin Livingston in September 2001. In 2005 I went to Japan and trained for 5 months at hombu dojo before coming back to Sheffield where I’ve been training and coaching ever since. I’ve taken part in national and international competitions (embu gold, Katsuura Japan 2005, randori bronze Geneva 2011 etc). I am now retired from competition and focusing on improving goshin ho, coaching and refereeing skills.
I co-started the Sheffield Aikido junior club in April 2014 – which is hugely rewarding! – and have now started a teenagers’ club. I coach private sessions, regular women-only sessions for Sheffield clubs female members, as well as pre-squad advanced sessions to prepare Sheffield higher grades for the SAUK national squad.
I am currently coaching over 10 hours a week, and training a few more on top of that. I’m excited about coaching different age groups and levels of ability. For the next couple of years I’ll focus on developing the juniors and teenagers club, the women-only and the pre-squad sessions in Sheffield.
I have devised the Coach the Coaches programme in Sheffield to bring up the level of coaching among our coaches, which I’ve now started delivering.
I’ve been the Coaching Liaison Officer (CLO) and the Child Protection Officer (CPO) for SAUK for the past 4 years.