Sports Awards: Top coach Tara Burndred making big impact in Ju Jitsu



Tara Burndred has been spreading the word about Tatsu Kai Ju Jitsu for a number of years.

And her words of wisdom have reaped rewards once again after another excellent 2019 for her club.

Burndred, a British senior champion a two-time world champion, set up her club on Blythe Business Park back in 2013.

And she now has a huge number of members from across Stoke-on-Trent heading for coaching sessions and attending tournaments under Burndred’s watchful eye.

The club currently has more than 100 members and thanks to grants from Staffordshire Moorlands Council and Draycott Parish Council, students train on mats that are of Olympic standard.

In the past they have excelled on the national stage, and last year was no different.

After previously picking up the odd medal here and there, 2019 proved to be a huge success.

Fifteen club members attended the nationals and they returned home with 10 medals.

Stoke-on-Trent was firmly put on the map as two gold, two silvers and six bronzes were won. And they also had the added bonus of being awarded the Spirit Award for their effort and fair play.

It is not just about performances, though, which motivate Burndred.

She looks at all aspects of life, including well being and also runs nutrition sessions.

And it’s little surprise that due to the rapid expansion of the club that Burndred has needed some help to ensure that participants are given the best possible coaching.

Helen Norton, Nicole Riley, Jen Dale, Paul Murtagh, Jon Norbury and Melvin Austin are all volunteers under Burndred’s wing to keep the club flying high.

Burndred has now been nominated in the Coach of the Year category at the Sentinel/City of Stoke-on-Trent Sports Personality of the Year Awards by her husband Anthony.

“From a run-down room to the Dojo that is today, working with more than 100 people per week, it’s amazing to see,” he said.

“The team promote martial arts and they really do deserve a pat on the back.

“Since the age of 10, Tara has always been involved with Ju Jitsu in Stoke-on-Trent. She has always promoted the sport as a self-development exercise.

“She promotes personal safety with a goal of getting self-defence in to local schools. She has successfully been doing this for the past six years with her six-week personal safety programme – suresense.

“She has been an ambassador for well being and helping people feel better about themselves. Tara also surrounds herself with elite-class coaches with the same mindset.

“Tara has won lots of national titles, but she is a businesswoman, mum of two and my wife – I am so proud of her.

“The AMA Nationals are one of the biggest events for the club and Tara has a way of inspiring the team to be their best and enjoy what they are doing.

“Whatever her secret, it is working, and the club will go again to the nationals in May.”

Burndred has long been associated with the Sports Awards and in 2018 she was named as the winner of the Tom Brennan Service to Sport accolade.

And there’s a good chance that she could be adding another honour after such a sterling year in the martial arts world with her thriving club.





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