February 2025

Judo Paralympian Leads Masterclass.

WORLD NUMBER ONE and Paralympic judo champion Chris Hunt Skelley MBE is working with young people to inspire them through sport.

Chris, who won the gold medal in his weight category in Tokyo2020, is supporting young judo fans in Northern Ireland at the British Judo Member Club, Simply Judo.

Chris Skelly - Judo Paralympian Leads Masterclass
Chris Skelly – Judo Paralympian Leads Masterclass

Two-day event

The two-day event is for club members and coaches. It will include specific classes for adaptive members too. Registered blind, Chris is club president of two clubs for the deaf, blind and vision-impaired in Northern Ballymoney and Jordanstown.

Chris was seventeen when his eyesight began to deteriorate. At nineteen he received the diagnosis of with ocular albinism. This meant he had to discontinue his work as a mechanic. The same year Chris tried judo. After attending classes as a child, he later went on to train full-time at the British Judo Centre of Excellence in Walsall. For Chris, at a time when his vision loss had destroyed his dreams, judo saved him.

‘I’ve worked hard to get to where I am today and along the way I’ve been to the deepest darkest parts of my life. Further, I’ve had to pull myself out of those moments. I’ve learned to adapt and change – like a phoenix from the ashes.

‘It’s why I’ll never lose my roots and won’t forget where I came from. I first did a masterclass in 2019 and loved it.’

Chris today is preparing for the Paris 2024 Paralympic qualifications. He recently took gold again at the IBSA Judo Portugal Grand Prix. That win earned him valuable points towards qualifying for the next Paralympics.

Chris is married to fellow Paralympian Louise Hunt Skelley PLY. They live in Wiltshire in England with their therapy dog, Milo, a three-year-old Spanish Water Dog.

The masterclass event is going to be on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th March at Maghaberry Community Centre on. There are three classes on Saturday and two classes on Sunday. The cost is £10 a session. Find more information here: www.simplyjudo.com

See this story about Louise Hunt: