14th February 2011
Hi again. This blogging thing is starting to be a bit habit forming for me.
Well as I said in the last blog we had to travel to Walsall for the Midland Area age bands. We had a good number of competitors at this tournament, 26 in total, which was being held over two days.
Usual for us we set off on the Friday afternoon with the plan to get there in plenty of time to get settled in and a bite to eat before retiring to our rooms for some rest prior to the competition. We had two mini buses travelling to Walsall which both set off at the same time, but unfortunately for me and the fighters on my bus we only made it as far as Gretna before breaking down. As it turns out there was a split in the exhaust, which could not be fixed at the side of the road. The first plan was for us to be towed home and then restart the journey all over again. Fortunately for us two kindhearted parents came to our rescue and were persuaded by their children to collect the new mini bus and meet us at Gretna Services (big shout out to Iain Dickson & Roy & Linda Conlon). This put us three hours behind schedule, but undeterred we soldiered on and arrived at our hotel at 1am. Probably not the best preparation for a competition, but these things are sent to try us.
On day one of the competition first up to fight were the D Band Juniors, who unfortunately had been on my bus and had not had the best preparation the night before. I am happy to say that the setback didn’t seem to affect them at all. Lots of them stepped up to the mark and put in some great judo during the day.
Next on the mat were the B Band boys and girls, some of who were fighting this level of competition for the very first time. Again, maybe spurred on by watching our older members they fought tooth and nail and scrapped with everyone they come up against.
After a late finish to the competition on the Saturday it was a quick trip back to the hotel then we proceeded to take over a Pizza Hut for two & half hours, lots of pizza was consumed on that night.
Early start on the Sunday, with the buses packed up we headed off to the venue once again.
A Band were first on the mat and some of our youngest fighters entered into the fray, usually first time at this size of event can be daunting for younger fighters, but again the players did the clubs proud some great judo was on show from them.
Last but not least were the C Band fighters. This competition was very important to these guys as it could mean qualification for the European Cadet Championships Trials and if successful maybe a chance to represent Great Britain. They were also not to be outdone with each player stepping onto the mat fighting to the end.
Overall the competition for me was a success with lots of good judo from our kids. Normally we are not very successful at this event, as it is the first event of the year, but this may have set the benchmark for the future.
Next on the cards is the Ultimate Open at Meadowbank. My next blog will update on that and then onto the North West Open in St Helens.
Until next time keep training hard and we will see you on the mat soon.
27th January 2011
Well this the first time that I have written a blog for anything. Lucky for me it has been a busy couple of weeks.
Firstly last weekend (22/1/11) saw us travel to the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield with the junior squad players for the British -20 Trials. We had 10 Players competing, some who were competing in this comp for the very first time. This tournament is the chance for junior players to stake a claim for the Great Britain Junior Team. It is also the very first tournament of the year and that can make it a shock to the system!! Most of the players competing had not had much of a Christmas and new year as most were in at Ratho training with the full time Athletes in preparation for this weekend.
As per usual we were not disappointed in our players. All stepped up to the mark and fought some great fights with some very tough opponents. Managing to make it onto the rostrum were Ksenia Voronova at the -70kg weight category who took 3rd place and Matthew Allison at the -90kg weight who also managed to get the 3rd place. All the players gave 100% on the day. Well done to them all.
On Monday the 24th of January we had the pleasure of having a guest coach on the mat. The guest coach was none other than Loretta Cusack . Former World Champion, twice European and Commonwealth Champion as well as numerous other titles. Loretta came on and took the session which had a great turnout of over 30 Judoka on the mat. It was a great sight to see all the junior squad members have a great time and they all looked like they learned some new ideas for their judo. I also managed to pick up some bits and pieces for myself, not least some of the exercises that Loretta made them do.
Well that is what has happened in the past week. This weekend we travel down to Walsall for the Midlands -20 Competition. We have two mini buses traveling to the tournament as we have that many people wanting to compete, I will keep you in touch with the results via the facebook page and I will be back to blog soon.
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