Ikkaido IMA

Ikkaido is a charity and an NGO with Consultative Status  to the United Nations.   Based in Tralee in Ireland, Ikkaido works with disadvantaged communities and young people with fewer opportunities, especially those with a disability and mental health issues, to help them tackle their issues and motivate them towards taking steps towards better health, recovery and engagement in the community. Ikkaido are experts in inclusion and write accredited inclusive qualifications and deliver them to youth with fewer opportunities, youth workers, coaches, teaching assistants and teachers.

Ikkaido is an OFQUAL regulated Recognised Centre of Education, with a team of coaches, facilitators, tutors, assessors and internal quality assurers (IQA) who work in non-formal, formal and informal education.  Ikkaido has a suite of Inclusive coaching and teaching qualifications with methodologies to create mass participation for disabled and disadvantaged people. An inclusive six-week programme of physical activity for Primary Schools, runs in parallel with the qualifications to engage both disabled and non-disabled children.  Programmes have also been established for the inclusion of violent youth and for Muslim women and their children who cannot participate alongside men. The primary activities of Ikkaido include the provision of inclusive sport (martial arts and self-defence) for people who do not usually participate and developing opportunities through Erasmus+ for disadvantaged people to experience wider cultural and vocational activities and participation and inclusion for people with fewer opportunities in education and employment.  Ikkaido has grown participation for over 7500 disabled and disadvantaged young people and is the largest organisation in the world for martial arts athletes with a disability.  

Ikkaido’s areas of expertise include using non-formal learning to investigate self-identity, cultural, group and community identity, drugs, human rights, gender issues, ICT, nutrition, employment and entrepreneurship, bullying, and mental health issues.

Ikkaido is a signatory to the Marseilles Treaty on inclusion in sport and a member of the Olympic Federation TAFISA (Sport for All), the United Nations Global Compact, and the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

CEO, Ray Sweeney's expertise is in the promotion of inclusion and education. He is a qualified tutor, coach educator and assessor. He writes the structures and frameworks of accredited and regulated inclusive coaching courses and qualifications which stress the value and importance of inclusive development of young people through sport by focussing on a bio-psycho-social model for emotional, physical, behavioural and cognitive improvement. He holds a Diploma in Psychology and Child Psychology using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for Depression, Anxiety and Phobias, Drug Recovery and Addiction Therapy and is a Special Educational Needs teacher.

Ray sits on the United Nations GC Diversity and Inclusion panel and attended the SALTO Cross-Sectoral Collaboration, Project Management and ESCII Training Courses.

Angus Mackay is a qualified Tutor (Level 4 EQF). with additional skills in social entrepreneurship, Arts Therapy, Mental Health Awareness and CBT for Depression, Anxiety and Phobias. He is a qualified inclusion coach (Level 3 EQF) and a qualified Life Coach, with additional skills in Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation.

Richard Bailey is an internationally recognised authority on pedagogy, physical activity and human development. He has directed studies that have influenced international policy and practice. A former teacher in Primary and Secondary Schools, teacher trainer, coach and coach educator, Richard has been a full Professor at Canterbury, Roehampton, Birmingham and Liverpool John Moores Universities in the UK. Richard has undertaken funded research in every continent of the world. He has worked as an Expert Adviser with UNESCO, WHO, OECD, the EU, and many similar agencies. He has carried out research on behalf of the English and Scottish governments, numerous educational and sports agencies. He was the contributing consultant for both Nike-led ‘Designed to Move’ and ‘Active Kids Do Better’ initiatives, and has directed numerous scientific reviews, including the most comprehensive review ever published on the benefits of physical education and sport (BERA, 2007‐2008), the UK’s independent review of player development in sport (Sportscoach UK, 2008‐2009), and the IOC-funded study of the contribution made by Sport in Education (IOC, 2004).

Previously the Senior Lecturer on Inclusion and Diversity at Worcester University, Ken Black has worked in over 60 countries and developed inclusive methodologies for both the Paralympics and Special Olympics. He is known throughout the world as one of the leading experts on inclusion and inclusive resources.

Ana Carrasco is a Six Sigma Project manager. Highly experienced in the field of the management and administration of logistics, she also has a Masters in Administration and also a degree in Sports Science specialising in people with a disability.  Ana has additional qualifications in Digital Media and Communications. Ana speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese. Ana is a qualified basketball coach and also has Level 2 Principles and Preparations of Coaching Sport. Ana has a great deal of experience working with grassroots sport, particularly with wheelchair users.

Head of Coaching, Melanie Timberlake is a Six Sigma Project Manager with a Level 2 disability football coaching qualification, a Level 3 inclusive martial arts coach, and tutor qualification. Melanie is the UK Disability Coach of the Year 2018. Melanie brings expertise in transferable games and specialises in coaching persons with mental health issues.

James Storrar is a lecturer on Social Care and Health, Mental Health, Social Policies, protection of vulnerable adults and supporting challenging behaviour. He brings expertise on safeguarding and protection of vulnerable people and the design and implementation of social policy as well as knowledge on inclusive psychological tools for the lifelong development and recovery of people with fewer opportunities. James is a psychiatric nurse and a specialist carer providing on call 24-hour care to young persons with a disability.

Christian Sweeney is a coach, tutor, philologist, project writer and communications expert. He speaks English, Fench, Spanish, German and Chinese. He also has a BTEC level 3 diploma in Business and Entrepreneurship.

Dirk van der Merwe Project Manager has been a paraplegic wheelchair user for over 23 years.  He is a 4th Dan world champion in karate.  He is an internationally known role model for disabled people and coaches around 300 disabled & disadvantaged people on a weekly basis.  Dirk is a qualified empowerment trainer with the Lydia Zijdel Foundation working with women and disabled people.  He is a qualified tutor, teacher and assessor using informal and non-formal learning. Dirk is one of only three people working as a mentor to inspire newly disabled people to improve their self-esteem & self-confidence signposting them to education and employment. Dirk is one of the 6 Ambassadors for

UK Coaching, an expert on inclusive practice and a qualified Special Needs teacher. Dirk is also certified and accredited in Measuring Results from Training Courses.

In 2016 Dirk was awarded LEAP Coach of the Year and Princess Anne awarded him UK Disability Coach of the Year.

Sasha Bongers is a qualified Legal Administrator and a Financial Administrator with over 20 years of experience of financial control and contracts administration. She has vast experience in civil and legal procedures working for a variety of large international corporate legal organisations. She is a Six Sigma Project Engineer and manages coach education, communications and financial administration.  Sasha is qualified in Mental Health Awareness and CBT.

Dirk and Sasha are qualified inclusion coaches (Level 3 EQF) and are certified in Arts Therapy, Life Coaching, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Mindfulness Training, Yoga, Meditation, Mentoring and Self-Development.



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