A year since he passed away, our CEO reflects on our former Head of Coaching

"I was lucky enough to see Craig progress through much of his competitive career. I was there in Manchester, 2002 when he became the youngest winner of the Commonwealth Games and in Cairo, 2005 when he became World Champ. Whilst many of our conversations were small over the preceding years, the impression he left was always big. 

I remember the first time I saw Craig. I was a senior, watching a cadet camp and he stood out like a shining light. About 50 kgs, he was so fast, no one got near him. A distinctive style I hadn’t seen before, opponents seemed to throw themselves as he used their own attacks against them. Even now I remember sitting there thinking “who is that?”

I remember the day he won the worlds. Although he fought well that day, brilliant in fact, it isn’t the memory that stuck with me the most. I remember that evening asking what it felt like to be the best in the world?  He shrugged and said he didn’t think he was, he’d just won a tournament that everyone was in. That one sentence probably encapsulates everything I think about Craig. A legend of our sport, with a genuine modesty, that much like his judo I’d never seen before.

My final memories are his time with Welsh Judo. On the mat, I remember the mesmerised faces whilst he demonstrated techniques. Children and adults alike, looking on in awe. Such dynamic posture, he brought to judo an effortless simplicity, which will always stay with me. Thank you Craig, the time you spent with us was small, but the impact you had was not…"

Darren Warner, CEO, Welsh Judo Association


There are many resources on offer to help us learn, navigate and take care of our mental health. UK Coaching are providing free access to the Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity course. Through to the 31stAugust 2020, use the course to gain the confidence to be able to support people experiencing mental health problems, and help them to thrive inside and outside of your sessions.

The world’s leading source of performance psychology, well-being and mental health content for the sport community, Believe Perform are another fantastic resource.  Offering a range of mental fitness online courses, training plans, mental health infographics, articles and podcasts, we are excited to have recently partnered with the organisation to ensure we continue providing our members with the highest standard of support.

With the large majority of society now online, many have also found using apps to be useful.  Headspace has hundreds of guided meditations, including ones you can do on the go. It offers mindfulness tips on everything from sleeping better to managing stress.

Like the Headspace app, Calm is an app for sleep, meditation and relaxation to help users get better sleep and lower stress through guided meditations, sleep stories, breathing programs, stretching exercises and relaxing music.

If you are concerned that you are developing or struggling with a mental health problem you may find it helpful to talk to someone you trust. They may be worried about you and welcome the opportunity to talk about it with you.  

There are a number of organisations that can support you including:

Please always reach out and know you are not alone.

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