Judo Awards Night
Our year ended with a fantastic celebration of all the great effort put in by our class members over the year and all their wonderful acheivements. The event was attended by around 130 judo players, parents, carer, friends and family and saw over 50 judoka take to the stage to receive their awards from Academy coach and World Masters Silver medallist, Caz Rawlings, herself the 2018 Medway Sportsperson of the Year Silver Award Winner.
It was a fantastic evening and ended the judo year on a real high note.
This year’s International Masterclass featured 2 x Olympian and Commonwealth Judo Champion, Ashley McKenzie as our special guest coach. Ashley was amazing and all of the youngsters really enjoyed training with him, and he practiced with every single one of them over the weekend. It was a fantastic, fun weekend of judo and we even hired the SOAR Trampoline Park for our sole use in the evening for all those who had attended the Masterclass, which was great fun.
World Masters Judo Championships 2019
Eddie competed in the 2019 World Masters Judo Championships in Marrakech, Morocco in October and had his best result to date at this top event, taking a hard fought for 5th place after a tough fight for Bronze against the strong Frenchman Richard Danjoux.
In the end ot was the Frenchman who took the medal after a tactical match which saw Eddie lose on penalties.
Commonwealth Judo Championships 2019
Academy Coaches Caz and Eddie were in action themselves in September. This time at the now annual Commonwealth Judo Championships, which, for the first time in over 30 years, were being held in England.
Caz fought really well through to the final where she lost narrlowly to take another superb Silver medal.
Eddie also fought well and acheived his best result to date, taking Gold in the -66kilos category, up a weigh group from his normal -60kilo group.
European Masters Games 2019 (EMG)
Even though schools and clubs have been closed for the summer holidays there has been no rest for Academy coaches Caz and Eddie.
July saw them tavel to Turin, italy as part of a strong group representing the GB Masters judo squad, to take part in the European Masters Games.
The EMG are a multi-sport event that takes place every four years and attracts over 6,000 to compete in 30 sports, of which judo is just one.
Both did exceptionally well, with Eddie picking up a Bronze in a higher weight group to his usual -60 kilo group and Caz just missing out on the Gold after a tense final that went to Golden Score with 2017 World Masters judo champion, Alessandra D'Amario.
Westland Tournament 2019
In June each year we lead a trip to the Westland Tournament in Holland, which is a junior event open for 6 to 15 year olds and attracts around 500 entires each year.
This year we took a group of 10 junior competitors and their parents to the event and had a fantastic weekend. We travelled out on Friday evening after judo at Walderslade Judo Club and spent the night in a hotel in Calais before travelling by minibus to Holland on Saturday, ready for the first of two training sessions at Mahorokan Judo Club in the afternoon. We were joined by our friends from Judo Club Monsois in France and everyone enjoyed the sessions and worked really hard.
In the evening we went to a local indoor play area which was great fun and then headed off for a meal out in town, which everyone enjoyed.
The tournament took place the next day everyone fought hard and did themselves proud.
Training weekend in France
Once again our annual trip to Lille in France was a great success. We trained on Saturday morning and afternoon and again on Sunday morning. On Saturday evening we enjoyed an evening at a local climbing wall which was great fun. The guest French coach was fantastic and engaged really well with all those on the mat, with good explanations and demonstrations.
Over 120 judoka of all ages took part in the event and all of our group had a brilliant time and worled really hard.
Ippon Invitation Judo Tournament
This year's event was another huge success with 97 young judoka booked in. There were 11 clubs represented and a good selection of youngsters from our after-school judo clubs, hub judo clubs and those specially invited community judo clubs.
For this year, we also introduced the Moorcroft Cup, in memory of Caz's first judo coach, Ann-Maria Moorcroft. This annual Cup is now being awarded to the judoka who performs the fastest Ippon of the day, and this year it went to Jake Long from Faversham Judo Club. Well done Jake.
There was a great atmosphere once again and some fantastic judo and sportsmanship being shown.
Caz receives her Black Belt
Academy coach Caz obtained the final points she needed for her promotion to Black Belt whilst competing at the Commonwealth Judo Championships held in India during November. Her licence, signed and stamped by the BJA arrived back just in time for her to receive her new belt and wear it on the mat at her final coaching and training session of the year, which was at Sittingbourne Judo Clu. Caz was over the moon when it arrived and it finished off a year in which she had gained her UKCC Level II Coaching Award in Judo, won a Silver medal at the World Veterans Judo Championships, a Silver in the Commonwealth Masters Judo Championships and was recently voted runner-up as Sportsperson of the Year at the Medway Sports Awards.
Her new grade and black belt was presented to her by Eddie Orgee at Sittingbourne Judo Club on 20 December and marked the end of a fantastic year for the oustanding judoka.
Success at Medway Sports Awards
At the 2018 Medway Sports Awards gala presentation dinner on Friday 14 December, both Caz and Eddie received awards for their outstanding performances and services to sport.
Caz was nominated for 'Sportsperson of the Year' and Eddie for 'Coach of the Year' and both were shortlisted as finalists and invited to attend the gala dinner held at Mid-Kent College.
There were sporting legends, Olympians and Paralympians alongside some of Medway's top sports people eager to find out who would win the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards being presented in each of the 11 categories being celebrated.
The level of nominee was very high and we were really proud when Caz was announced as the Silver Award winner for 'Sportsperson of the Year' whilst Eddie was awarded the Gold Award as Medway 'Coach of the Year'. They received their Awards from double Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold OBE.
International Training Camp
The International Training Camp this year took place over the weekend of 17-18 November at the Greenacre Academy and was attended by just over 90 judo players of all ages across the two days. Our special guest this year for the wonderful Loretta Cusack-Doyle, 8th Dan a former British, European, Commonwealth and World Judo Champion. Loretta took three sessions of two hours each and we were joined at the event by judoka from France and Holland as well as a number of local hub clubs and our after school judo clubs.
The event was a huge success and everyone who attended said that they had enjoyed the weekend and had learned a great deal.
Commonwealth Judo Championships
The 2018 Commonwealth Judo Championships were held in the city of Jaipur, India and took place over 5 days, covering all age groups and even included a VI event, making this one of the most fully inclusive events to date. Both Caz and Eddie competed in the tournament and both of them earned well deserved Silver medals at this tough international event. The English Masters Squad as a whole did really well, with all of them bringing back medals. Once the event was over there was a great opportunity for both our Academy coaches to sample and experience at first hand real Indian life and culture and it was a trip and an opportunity too good to miss.
World Judo Championships - Veterans
Kent Schools Academy Coach Caz Rawlings, once again took part in and medalled at the World Judo Championships – Veterans, which for 2018 was held in the Mexican city of Cancun. The event was attended by over 1,000 of the world’s toughest judo players over the age of 30 representing over 49 separate nations.
Caz had taken a Bronze at the event in 2017 and had worked hard this year to try and improve upon that result. She swept through the Eliminatory and Preliminary Rounds with style taking good wins away from two very experienced French fighters in the process. In the final she met the tough Brazilian judoka Lillian Terada, who had also sailed her way through her early opposition, making for what was going to be an exciting final.
Caz gained an early advantage with the Brazilian failing to grip up and attack properly due to her dominating grip and attacking power. However, the Brazilian rallied and managed to score on Caz with a drop shoulder throw. Caz soon got the measure of the Brazilian and then started to really dominate the remainder of the contest, leading the Brazilian to make more mistakes and failing to make any further good attacks. She came close to levelling the scoreboard with a throwing technique and quickly dominated the Latin American fighter on the ground. However, with 18 seconds on the clock the Brazilian was not taking any chances and managed to back away and keep clear of Caz’s attacking style long enough to wind the clock down and secure the win, even taking a second and final penalty in doing so.
This was a first World Championships Silver medal and a fantastic result for Caz, who is now taking a short rest before flying to India in November for the Commonwealth Judo Championships where she will be competing in the Masters section and hoping to add further to her medal tally.
Junior classes go from strength to strength
The juniors classes at both Sittingbourne and Walderslade judo clubs, led by Academy coaches Caz and Eddie, continue to go from strength to strength, showing the popularity of the classes and the increased interest in the fascinating sport of judo. The classes in these two mainstream Hub clubs provide a great opportunity for school club pupils to further thier judo careers outside of their school clubs.
Universities at Medway - Freshers Fair
Team Medway Judo Club was well represented at this year's Fresher's Fair at the Universities at Medway event. Elodie and Peter attended the Fair on behalf of the club, speaking to students about the benefits of judo and what they can get involved with outside of the weekly training sessions as well.
The following taster session saw a number of new students come along and try out judo for the first time and we are hoping they will all return next week when the club fully opens and we welcome old members back as well.
Veterans European Judo Championships 2018
As part of their wider involvement in local judo, in June our coaches travelled to Glasgow to support and be the Matside Coach for a number of adults from the mainstream clubs they teach in and who were taking part in the Veteran European Championships 2018, which were being held at the Emirates Arena. With over 1,100 of Europe's toughest judoka over the age of 30 it was the largest judo event organised in the UK.
There were no medals on this occasion but everyone fought hard and gained loads of experience at this top and tough international event. The photos show Caz and Eddie with two of the fighters they supported as they arrived at the Emirates Arena for the event.
Westland Tournament 2018
Academy Coaches Caz and Eddie, led a group of 20 across to Holland for the annual Westland Tournament near Rotterdam. The junior event is attended by over 500 youngsters each year and this year we had 9 entered to the event. Our juniors did us and themselves proud and came away with 4 Bronze medals and 1 Silver medal after an exciting days judo. Well done to everyone, including those who fought hard but were unable to medal on this occasion.
Annual Training Camp in France
As well as working in schools, colleges and universities, our coaches deliver lessons in two mainstream judo clubs on a weekly basis and organise a number of events for those clubs. In April we led a mixed group of adults and juniors on a weekend training camp to Lille in France, where we have an on-going exchange programme with judo Club Monsois. It was an excellent weekend and everyone learned a lot and gained a lot from the experience and opportunity to meet and train with French judoka and also the Dutch judoka who joined us as well from Mahorakan Topjudo.
The Ippon Invitation Tournament 2018
Our annual pathway tournament for juniors took place on 24 March and was a fantastic success. The event was held at the Greenacre Academy in Walderslade, Chatham and twelve different main stream clubs and after-school clubs took part. The day saw 81 juniors, many attending their first ever judo tournament, battling it out for a chance to stand on the top of the podium.
Feedback from the event was excellent and the youngsters all loved the trophies and the real podium experience. A colouring competition and word search along with a match the judo technique card game was organised to keep everyone entertained while waiting for their turn to take part and these went down really well.
The colouring competition along with a first ever Gold for judo was won by Lauren Wraight from Graveney Judo Club after an excellent days performance in her first ever judo event.
University team take BUCS medals
The GK Unions 'Team Medway' University judo club had excellent results at the British University and College Championships (BUCS) in Sheffield in February. As a new club we had only three judoka who qualified to enter this tough event this year and two of them came back with medals. Club President Pierre Demerest fought really well outside of his normal -60 kilo group and only lost by a close margin to the eventual Gold medallist in an exciting contest. This left Pierre to fight for Bronze which he did in great style earning GK Unions it's first ever judo medal.
Snowy Jackson had three tough fights in the -57 kilo Kyu Grade category and earned a well deserved Bronze as well. Rob Hills fought extremely hard in a group of 21 in the -66 kilo Kyu Grade event as well but was unable to medal on this occasion. There was great support from the other Team Medway club members and Coaches and it was a thoroughly enjoyable and successful trip.
Graveney judo club flourishes
After-school judo at Graveney Primary School continues to flourish, with 25% of the school roll now taking part in the lessons. An average of 24 youngsters from across all age groups take part in the weekly class taken by Walderslade Judo Club's Eddie Orgee and Caz Rawlings (Caz a double World Judo Championships - Veterans Bronze medallist. The youngsters have been working towards their first judo grading and also their first judo tournament, which is being held in March 2018.
Youngsters excel at Help For Heroes charity fundraising tournament
Seven young judo players from Walderslade Judo Club, excelled at the annual 'Help For Heroes' fundraising judo tournament at the weekend, earning 3 x Gold, 2 Bronze and 2 x 5th places between them. The young competitors pulled off some fantastic throws and tried really hard, coming away with a superb medal haul. Well done to everyone. Here are some of the youngsters pictured at the event.
Academy Coach honoured to be presenting the Annual Sports Awards at Walderslade Girls School
Just a week after winning her second World Veterans Bronze medal at the recent World Judo Championships - Veterans in Sardinia, Caz was the guest of honour at Walderslade Girls School, where she had previously been asked to present the Annual Sports Awards and Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
Caz said it had been a real privilege but a bit nerve racking to present the awards and the school introduced her to the audience with a short PowerPoint display detailing her past and current achievements and showing photos of her on the rostrum at various events and in training leading up to them.
After the presentations the school Sports Captain presented Caz with a bouquet of flowers and thanked her for taking time out of her busy schedule to be at their annual awards event.
Bronze medal for Caz at Veterans World Judo Championships
Academy Coach, Caz Rawlings took a fantastic Bronze medal at the World Judo Championships - Veterans in Olbia, Sardinia on 3 October. Caz competed for the first time in her new weight category of -52kgs and put on a fantastic performance to match the Bronze she took at -57kgs last year at the World Judo Championships- Veterans in Florida.
Caz finished the Bronze medal fight, which went to Golden Score, with a great waza-ari throw, which she followed straight into a hold against Carolina Costa from Portugal.
Academy Coach, Eddie Orgee, competed at -60kgs level, defeating his first opponent, the Italian Elio Mele in Golden Score despite huge home support from the large Italian crowd, but then lost to Frenchman Richard Danjoux after his O Uchi Gari attack was countered. This put him in the Reprecharge rounds fighting for Bronze where he lost against eventual Bronze medal winner Josef Foerch from Germany. Eddie was happy that the back injury which put him out of the 2016 event had held up and he was able to fully compete in the event as it showed his recovery was going well.
Academy Coaches to attend IJF World Judo Championships - Veterans
There will be no Kent Schools Judo Academy classes between 28 September and 6 October as our Coaches will be in Sardinia competing at the World Judo Championships - Veterans. This tough event is open to all judoka from the age of 30 and upwards and sees veteran players up to the age of 78 competing, demonstrating just how much judo is more than just a sport, but a way of life.
There are expected to be over 1,200 of the worlds top judo athletes over the age of 30 taking part and we will bring you all the news from the event as it comes. Academy Coach, Caz Rawlings has previously medalled at this event, having won a Bronze in the 2016 event held in Florida. On that occasion Eddie had aggravated a back injury during the warm-up and had to withdraw from the event on the day of competition.
Good luck to our Coaches.
University of Kent Fresher's Fair.
In readiness for the new judo club opening at the Medway Campus we attended the Fresher's Fair, handing out leaflets and explaining what judo was all abut. Hopefully there will be a great turnout on the first night for the brand new GK Unions Team Medway Judo Club.
The club's new web site is still being developed but it can be found here Team Medway Judo Club
St Mary of Charity CoE Primary School
The schools new after-school judo club got off to a cracking start with a fantastic turnout and a lot of excited youngsters. The whole day of taster classes that took place recently had really captured the imagination of the youngsters leading to so many of them deciding to stay after school for the new after-school club.
Graveney Primary School
The new Graveney Primary School Judo Club opened for its first session in September and an enthusiastic group of 26 youngsters joined in the first night with everyone seeming to have enjoyed it. After that it was back to Sittingbourne Judo Club for the normal Thursday evening classes.
Metro Judo Club Championships
It was a busy day at the Metro Judo Club championships in Kidbrook as we supported members of Walderslade Judo Club and Sittingbourne Judo Club at this excellent club championships.
Six young judoka (judo players) took part supported by Caz and Eddie and they came away with one Gold, one silver and two Bronze medals for all their efforts. Sid won his first ever Gold, whilst Archie did really well to secure an excellent Silver. Ethan and Olivia fought really hard and came away with the Bronze medals. Sam and Mitchell fought really well and did themselves proud but were just out of the medals on this occasion. Well done to everyone.