A young boy who began learning Judo just one year ago has won a bronze medal at the British Adapted Open in London.
Fintan Dooley (13) started learning the art of Judo in September 2017 in Phibblestown, Dublin 15.
He flew to London at the beginning of the month to compete in the European ID Judo Championship and won a bronze medal for his hard work.
Attending St Vincent’s Centre at the Navan Road – a Daughters of Charity Service for people with intellectual disabilities – Fintan’s speech and language therapists have said this is “a fantastic achievement” for him.
Fintan got involved with the Asian sport after meeting his coach at a demonstration at a family fun day at St Vincent’s, saying “it seemed like Judo would be fun”.
His Judo coach, Fred Marmain, began an “adapted” Judo class, which Fintan and four other individuals take part in.
Marmain said that Fintan always volunteers in his Judo classes and has come a long way since he began practicing just 12 months ago.
He said: “As this was Fintan’s first international event, it went very well, considering his experience is only one year of training, but his dedication in judo paid off.
“Fintan responded very positively to the tasks from his coach and fights very valiantly. As his coach, I am very proud of Fintan.”
Speaking about his experience contending in Judo abroad, Fintan told Dublin Gazette that it was “very exciting” to travel abroad for the sport he loves so much.
He said: “It was very exciting and epic to go to London, and it was a great feeling when I won a medal.
“My favourite thing about Judo is going to competitions and making new friends, as well as getting new belts and doing different exercises to make me strong.”
For his next competition, Fintan said he might be travelling to a competition in Sweden in Spring, and he hopes to continue advancing through the different Judo belts.