1st July, 2022 — Club culture

Good Sports grant helps judo players stay mentally healthy

Fun, fitness and friendship are what Seishin Martial Arts is all about. A recent Good Sports grant has helped boost the team’s spirits even more.

The grant enabled the head coach, Lewis Willing, and a player to complete Mental Health First Aid training, giving the club the skills and confidence to support members who might need help.

Other Tasmanian Good Sports clubs interested in building a healthy community sports club environment can now apply for a share of new funding from the Tasmanian Government. Grants are available for Mental Health First Aid training, Responsible Service of Alcohol training or vouchers for Good Sports merchandise.

Applications close on Tuesday 31 January 2023 and can be submitted below.

A fighting spirit for all abilities

Seishin began in early 2020 when Lewis and Carla Willing combined their passion and experience in martial arts with their backgrounds in disability work.

The Glenorchy club trains and coaches both Mainstream Judo and adaptive No Limits Judo for people living with disability or additional needs.

Its name Seishin means ‘spirit’. The team’s motto ‘the fighting spirit has no limits’ come from the courage and ability of its players to break down barriers and overcome challenges.

Carla Willing, Seishin’s Managing Director, says that the club takes mental health very seriously and encourages its leaders to be good role models and talk openly around mental health issues.

"Martial arts like judo are really beneficial for people's mental health and physical health," she said.

“It can help develop social skills and a sense of belonging and identity for a person.

“We know that disability often comes with comorbidities such as anxiety or depression. So it's important to recognise, acknowledge and have open and transparent conversations about this.

“For many of our players, this is the first time they have been involved in a sport and club. With No Limits Judo still breaking through in the sporting world, that can come with challenges and anxieties. But each time players play a role, it comes with an amazing sense of achievement, pride and fulfillment.”

Skills for the whole community at Seishin Martial Arts

The club believes that one of the best approaches to mental health is a community approach and that it helps to train with people who understand that sometimes life is hard.

Carla is appreciative of the Good Sports grant which has given the club additional skills to identify mental health risks, improve communication and put in place helpful strategies.

“The course has given our members the knowledge that there are trained members and staff who players can go to should they need additional support or someone to talk to," said Carla.

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