Wednesday 19th October 2016
John Leggott College a ‘springboard to success’ for Paralympic Head Coach Ian Johns
John Leggott College alumni student Ian Johns, who is currently Head Coach of the British Judo Paralympic Team, took a stroll down memory lane with a return to the college this week to watch his son playing football.
Not only was it a chance for Ian to catch up with former teachers, his son Euan has recently joined the John Leggott College Second Team and is showing the same focus and determination that set his father on the path to success 20 years ago.
Euan is studying history, archaeology and biology at John Leggott College and, as previous Head Boy at St. Bede’s and a member of the Appleby Frodingham Football team, he is quickly establishing himself as a star student in the classroom and on the pitch.
Ian is determined to support Euan as he follows his own career path, with aspirations to a career in history and a preference towards football instead of judo. Ian’s own impressive career journey, starting from his own days playing for the John Leggott College Football Team, is certainly motivation for all John Leggott College students to aspire to their own personal success stories.
After several years of fighting in the England judo team, including winning gold in the 2012 Commonwealth Judo Championships, Ian sustained a serious knee injury and took time to reassess his priorities. He completed a degree in Sports Science, which involved coaching judo in North Lincolnshire schools – an experience Ian described as “completely brilliant”.
Following this experience, Ian went on to undertake a PGCE (Post-Graduate Certificate of Education) and worked closely with younger athletes, coaching them to prepare for performance in the England programme. He took the opportunity to return to John Leggott College to manage the Women’s Football Team for two seasons – a challenging time which saw the team endure a defeat of 18-0 in one match, but another experience that Ian really enjoyed.
When a surprise phone call presented the opportunity to join the British Judo Centre of Excellence as a Paralympic Judo Coach, Ian quickly applied and was successful! His recent return from the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro is an opportunity for Ian and the team to enjoy a few weeks of recuperation before continuing their training.
Speaking of his experiences so far, Ian said “Working with the team to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympics was incredible, and I’ve had an awesome time over the past few years travelling all over the world to places like Mongolia, Korea and Japan. Twenty years down the line from my time as a student, I really feel that studying here gave me a fantastic springboard to success. The teachers and staff at John Leggott College really believe in you, which was a great influence on how I approached my work, my exams and my career goals.”
The John Leggott College academic year is already off to an excellent sporting start, with Euan and the rest of the Second Team celebrating the success of a 9-2 win against Selby. We’re looking forward to more achievements over the coming months and years as our students embark on the next exciting stage in their own careers.