ELEVEN YOUNG JUDOKAS will be travelling over 12,600 kilometres to partake in the West Clare Judo Open Tournament.

On Sunday April 30th, the West Clare Judo Club will be hosting a very special group of young judo players, eleven of the youngsters involved will travel to Doonbeg from Kabwe in Zambia.

All visitors are from “Sables Nua”, a children’s centre in Kabwe for street children and other O.V.C.s. (orphans and vulnerable children) run by an Irish N.G.O. called Zamda.

Kabwe is a town with close links to many Irish, who would have worked there throughout the 20th century, it being the Dubai of its day with its vibrant lead and zinc mining industry, providing young Irish with opportunities not available at home. The legacy of that industry left Kabwe to be known as the most polluted town in the world, with its toxic dust pervading the whole area and townships.

Youths from Zambia will arrive in Co Clare on Friday April 28th where they will get a taste of Loop Head, Irish culture and the Wild Atlantic seaboard before the competition begins on the Sunday.

It will be their first time seeing an ocean and they will be heading for a dip in Kilkee on Friday evening. Weather permitting, there will be a boat trip in Kilkee Bay courtesy of the Kilkee Sub-Aqua Club.

Sables Nua offers education, a feeding programme, vocational training, emergency accommodation, medical care, and extra-curricular activities to over 310 vulnerable children in Kabwe. One of these extra-curricular activities is judo.

With the help of Fr. Jude McKenna and support from Judo Ireland, a judo club was started in Sables Nua by Sergeant Gabriel “Gabby” Kunda, Zambia Police, former Zambian International Judo Player and Mr. Padraig Ó Fainín, Director of ZAMDA.

Judo Ireland sent mats for the club and in 2018 West Clare Judo Club coaches and judokas travelled to Kabwe to kickstart the club.After a hectic ten days of judo with the visitors from Co Clare, the Sables Nua Judo Club was up and running.

Gerard Troy and Kevin Heapes, before they left Zambia, extended an invitation to Sensei Gabby and his judokas to come visit Clare. Unfortunately, Covid-19 intervened and Sensei Gabby died, but though delayed, the invitation to Clare still stood and now the group of eleven, who began judo five years ago will travel to West Clare.

For many years, Sables Nua has been hosting visitors and volunteers from Ireland but this is the first visit of pupils and past pupils of Sables Nua to Ireland.

During their trip, the group will visit schools, talk about Zambia, visit judo clubs in Clare, Cork, Dublin and Wexford, travel to historical sites, meet with officials of the Zambians in Ireland Association including Hitra Shakanungu, former Zambian International judoka now resident in Ireland and also attend a number of sporting events including a League of Ireland soccer game and a tie in the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship.

Related News

séamus horgan pope francis-2
Ennis Monsignor Horgan appointed Papal Nuncio to South Sudan
fursa kavanagh 1
Green Cavanagh puts Shannon Airport rail link at top of agenda
image
Infant Hunter Molloy 'radiated love and lived his life fully'
ennistymon lea debate 1
The Electoral Chair: Ennistymon local electoral area debate
Latest News
ennistymon lea debate 1
The Electoral Chair: Ennistymon local electoral area debate
knappogue castle 1
Knappogue Castle to open as private residence this year
SONY DSC
€8.7m funding approved for Scariff regeneration project
bunratty castle 2
Haugh highlights movie potential of Clare
garda
Woman sustained broken eye socket, broken ribs, collapsed lung, stitches to face from alleged assault by then boyfriend
Premium
clare v tipperary minor 30-04-24 dermot coughlan 1
'We lost it in the first fifteen minutes' - Coughlan on Clare's exit in minor semi-final
ennis courthouse tent 24-02-21 4
Jail warning for mother of three who walks children on daily six mile round school trip
ennistymon v st breckans 07-07-23 liam cotter 1
Cusack Cup champions Ennistymon still unbeaten
leonard cleary 2
Tributes to Corofin's Cleary as he bids farewell to Council
avenue utd v newmarket celtic 12-05-24 team champions 1
Avenue Utd win Premier Division title

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Scroll to Top