Fort William judo coach continues to inspire

© Sandy young Photography 07970 268944 Rebecca Maclean, judo coach at Movement Park, Glasgow. Coaching session with children. E: W:

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It has been a record-breaking year for Scottish sport, according to governing body sportscotland.

And one Lochaber resident has more than played her part.

Rebecca Maclean, 27, from Fort William, continues to inspire young people around the country to get involved in sport, even after winning Young Coach of the Year award at the sportscotland Year of Young People Awards 2018.

Rebecca Maclean. Photo: Sandy young Photography. NO F38 Rebecca Judo 01

She is now a part-time Active Schools coordinator based at Kinlochleven High School and develops a range of programmes to help increase the number and quality of opportunities available for young people to get involved in sport.

Rebecca lives and works in Lochaber but regularly travels to Glasgow in her spare time to support the successful Judo Girls Rock project, delivered by Judo Scotland, Scottish Sports Futures and Youth Scotland.

The original Judo Girls Rock helped girls in socially deprived areas of Glasgow and Rebecca has now opened a new class in Fort William.

‘My week is pretty busy but I’m doing what I love. It’s amazing to watch young girls doing the sport that made such a difference to my life – and now I’m starting to see it making a difference to theirs.

Rebecca won the Young Coach of the Year award at the sportscotland Year of Young People Awards 2018. Photo: Sandy young Photography. NO F38 Rebecca Judo 03

‘It’s making a big difference in the deprived areas and getting a lot of girls into judo who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to do so. But it’s also about more than judo, it’s about introducing girls to sport in general and showing them a healthier life.

‘I’m in a good position to pass on my experience and help other young leaders on their journey because I’ve done exactly what they’re going through.’

Data published as part of the national agency for sport’s annual review, Playing Our Part 2018-19, showed that participation in its flagship school sport programme is at an all-time high with 7.3 million visits to Active Schools sessions across the country with 542 schools receiving the prestigious School Sport Award.

Rebecca says she is committed to building on her success by introducing even more girls to sport across her cluster. Her dedication as a judo coach was recognised with the Young Coach of the Year award at the sportscotland Year of Young People Awards 2018 – an honour she says left her ‘absolutely shocked’.

She added: ‘I just want to develop Judo Girls Rock further and get even more young girls and clubs involved. I’m also looking forward to getting as many people as possible active – I believe sport can change your life.’