By David Gold

Special Olympics_Gb_and_British_Judo_Association_sign_a_Memorandum_of_Understanding_December_2011December 10 - The British Judo Association (BJA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Special Olympics Great Britain, which sets out a common framework for the two to develop and promote the sport for the disabled.

Special Olympics Great Britain is the country's largest everyday sports training and competition programme for children and adults suffering from learning disabilities.

BJA chief executive Scott McCarthy said: "The word 'dō' in jūdō means the way or path; this partnership with Special Olympics GB will lead to an enlightened pathway to well-being for learning disabled athletes, our coaches, and volunteers.

"Judo started 130 years ago next year - it seems only fitting to kick-off this agreement with Special Olympics GB during the 2012 Olympic Year."

Special Olympics GB chief executive Karen Wallin added: "This is a real milestone for Special Olympics; it is the first time we have ever signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a National Governing Body of Sport.

"Judo is a great one-on-one sport for our athletes and with the BJA's support we hope to expand our Judo programme dramatically."

Under the understanding, Special Olympics GB training and competition will be taking place through the BJA's club network, whilst the sport will also be established in the international Special Olympics movement.

The BJA has also agreed to actively seek to increase the number of people with learning disabilities who participate in judo, and each of its clubs or affiliates who want to provide the sport to those with such disabilities will become an accredited Special Olympics GB programme.

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