Paralympic Judo Starts Up at Public Schools

By Marc P Vink, Ed. D. | Aug. 07, 2019, 3:49 p.m. (ET)

Paralympic Judo Starts Up at Public Schools for Students with Visual Impairment

Through a generous grant from United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, USA Judo has established Paralympic Judo programs at several public schools servicing students with visual impairment. The grant provides funding for coach stipends, judo gi’s, and safety mats. The program also provides participants with a one-year membership in USA Judo to provide students and coaches with insurance and other miscellaneous start-up expenses. 

The purpose of the program is to introduce Paralympic Judo into the American school system and offer judo as the sport of choice for visually impaired school students. Many public schools for the visually impaired have offered wrestling to their students for decades. The introduction of judo would allow students to cross train and improve grappling skills useful for both sports.

Pictured are several students participating in the weekly Paralympic Judo program offered at the prestigious Walter Payton College Preparatory School, in Chicago, Illinois. Similar programs will be starting up this fall in at least four states.


This program could also serve to build a pipeline for future athletes whom have an interest in domestic and international competition. The program currently includes the Baltimore for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the prestigious Walter Payton College Prep in Chicago. Four additional schools located in Texas, California, and Georgia are scheduled to start their programs in September when students return from summer break. Classes are typically conducted twice a week either at the school or at a local participating dojo.

For more information, contact Lauren Roersma, USA Judo High Performance Manager at 719-866-2265.