December 2011

Christmas Championship & Prize-Giving Event

Thank you to everyone who took part in our 2011 Christmas Championship and Prize-Giving Night on 16th December and a special thank you to all those who helped organise and run the event, a great time was had by everyone.

Around 53 junior club members took part, with a number of our Junior Referees once again volunteering to help out.  The team championship was hotly contested with some excellent judo skills being shown but with the emphasis as always at this event being on fun.  The team games gave us lots of laughs and rounded off an enjoyable event. 

As usual the highlight of the evening was the presentation of our annual awards, the winners of which were as follows;

Judoka of the Year Brandon Kemm
Best Girl Sinead Ferguson
Best Boy Alexander Hyde
Best Attendance Annalise Carew
Best Competition Results Annalise Carew
Most Improved Girl Alicia Hyde
Most Improved Boy Elliott Barlow

Well done to everyone.

It has been year another busy and successful year for the club and we hope 2012 will be even better.  We look forward to seeing you all in January 2012 but in the meantime wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Medway Fighting Chance programme

Back in March 2011 we were pleased to be asked to work with Kent Police and Kent Fire & Rescue on an inclusion programme called Medway Fighting Chance.  This required the club to deliver a set of 12 week courses of judo to pre-selected groups of young people between the ages of 13 and 17 from within the local area.

The first course began in September and Officers from Medway police arranged for the youngsters to be brought to the club each Friday evening and Coaches from the club delivered the sessions supported off the mat by non-uniformed police officers and representatives of Kent Fire & Rescue. 

Because of the ages of those involved they were able to Fast Track through the BJA Grading Syllabus enabling them to grade up to 6th Mon in their first two Gradings, Novice to 3rd Mon and then 4th Mon to 6th Mon.

The first course finished a few weeks ago and last Friday there was a formal presentation where the youngsters performed a 15 minute demonstration of their new skills to an audience of parents, family, local Medway Council officials and members of the Police and Fire & Rescue Service.  Following the demonstration and a short speech by DS Baisley, the lead police officer behind the scheme, each of those who passed the course received a Certificate of Achievement and their Yellow Belt from Inspector Dean from Medway Police.  A number of additional awards were also made including Best Behaviour, Best Attendance and Most Promising Judo Player.

The scheme has been a great success and for our part we hope that a number of the youngsters on the course will stay at the club and continue with their judo lessons. 

Our next course commences on 13th January after our Christmas break and we are looking forward to introducing more young people to judo at Walderslade in the New Year.  In the meantime well done to all those who attended the first course and well done on achieving your Yellow Belt.

November 2011

Club Coach promoted to 2nd Dan

It is with great pleasure we can announce that Sally Elcome passed her final assessment for promotion to 2nd Dan Black Belt last weekend.  Sally had a final couple of sections of theory to complete for ther promotion assessment and during our International Training Event last weekend, Dermot Heslop and Kerry Finney kindly agreed to carry this out after the judo sessions had finished.  Well done to Sally for a very overdue promotion.

International Training Event

Thank you to all the club members who supported our International Training Event last weekend, and what a weekend it was.  We had around 105 judoka on the mat on Saturday and over 80 on Sunday morning with the feedback we have had so far indicating it had been an excellent event.

The general opinion from all involved was that this had been our best year to date with excellent organisation, superb coaching and a larger attendance, so a big thank you has to go out to all our volunteers, coaches, helpers, parents and judoka who helped make this such a fantastic weekend.  We also need to thank our special guest instructors, Dermot Heslop and Kerry Finney, both of whom worked very hard all weekend to deliver great lesson content with professionalism and enthusiasm and who introduced the judoka to some new skills and some new games.  Dermot's JudoFit warm-up on Sunday morning certainly cleared a few cobwebs away and got everyone in the mood for the following sessions.  Feedback on our event from Dermot and Kerry was also very positive and Team Walderslade can once again give themselves a huge pat on the back for organising and delivering yet another excellent event for our members and our friends from France and Holland. 

Our kitchen team consisting of Ann, Heidi and Kerry worked hard both before the weekend and all the way through it to ensure we fed and watered over 120 people on Saturday afternoon, 70 people on Saturday night and then around 70 again on Sunday.  The feedback on the meals supplied all weekend has been very good and the changes they introduced this year proved to be very popular.  Without the dedication of those three ladies the event would not be possible and so another separate huge thank you goes out to the three of them.  To some extent the success of a judo event such as this is often judged by what takes place on the tatami (mats), but without all the effort that goes on in the background, events like this could just not take place.

The sports hall once again looked superb decked out with the flags and banners and the 340sq mtrs of mat area ensured there was plenty of space for the 105 or so judoka who trained on the Saturday.  Thank you to everyone who joined in getting the 170 mats needed to the hall on time and enabling us to run all Friday night's classes from the sports hall without any interruptions.  It was really great to see around 50 of our own club members come along and support the event and all those who attended said they had enjoyed the sessions a great deal.

The social evening on Saturday at the Stirling Centre was well supported and the Roller Disco saw around 65 people gliding around the hall for most of the evening.  There were of course those of more advanced years who knew they would be far safer watching from the bar area, so that's just what they did.  Hopefully a good time was had by all and we are already thinking of how we can improve the event next year and hopefully provide some Saturday evening entertainment for free as well.   

This year, for the first time we experimented with bringing in Sports Leaders from Kent Youth to deliver some fun games on Sunday as a means of winding down the juniors after the judo sessions finished and this went down really well.  The Sports Leaders took groups through various team related games and challenges including the Human Knot, Parachute Games and Pairs with giant playing cards. 

With 6 hours of judo over two days it would be an intensive event for many, so it was especially pleasing to see some of our youngest members taking part and lasting all weekend.  A special 'well done' goes out to Ben, Joe, and Callum who, as some of our youngest judoka, worked really hard all weekend and did themselves and the club proud.

The expected dates for our trips back to France and Holland in 2012 are 24-25 March for training in Lille and 2-3 June for training and a competition in Holland.  These trips generally cost around £50 - £55 per person, are good fun and very enjoyable.  If you are interested then keep an eye on the notice board or speak to Eddie one night.  

Our next event being planned is our end of year Christmas Party and Annual Awards night.  This will be on Friday 16th December and flyers and posters are up in the club now.  You need to book-in by 12th December so get your names down quickly.

Children In Need

Thank you to everyone who took part in our Children In Need appeal last Friday.  We had well over 30 club members, volunteers, coaches and even parents all paying £1 and coming along in their pyjama bottoms (and some in their full pyjama sets !) and it made for a colourful and entertaining sight. 

In fact there was just one coach who forgot to bring his PJ bottoms (you know who you are!) and the forfeit for that was to match the total donations given by all those who did wear their PJs to the club.  I bet he won’t forget next year!!   

The wonderful cakes provided by helpers and parents were all snapped up and the Pudsey Bear Sam Sprason managed to get from the Build a Bear Workshop in Maidstone and the Pudsey cake made and donated by Ann Kemm were raffled with the winners being Tracy Jarvis and Jenny Russell. 

Thank you to all those who joined in and helped us raise a total of £180.22 for such a good cause in just a few hours.

October 2011

Club gains new Black Belt

Congratulations to Wayne Lander who took part in the Budokwai Dan Grading earlier today and acheived his Black Belt. Wayne needed just 40 more competitive points to secure the coveted grade and did that in style earlier today. Points are awarded at certain tournaments and special Dan Gradings for each contest won against other Brown Belts or higher grades, but only those won by Ippon (10 points) or a Waza-Ari (7 points) count.

Wayne already had 60 points towards the 100 needed and was hunting out his final 40. Well done Wayne from all at Walderslade Judo Club.

England Squad call-up for Molly and Rayna

It is with great pleasure we are able to announce that Molly Harvey and Rayna Jobson have both been selected for the England Pre-Cadet Squad.  Following their results in a number of major tournaments this year, including last weekend’s British Championships, the youngsters received their call-up letters and England Squad badges earlier this week.

Both girls began their judo careers at Walderslade and transferred to the South East ExCell Centre in Tonbridge a few months ago.  Molly and Rayna are the first Walderslade judo players who have progressed into the ExCell and England Squad programme, we are very proud of their efforts in reaching this level of judo and our warmest congratulations go out to both of them.

Meanwhile, plans for our Training Weekend are now all but finalised and club members are reminded of the need to book in by 18th November to secure a place.

This is set to be a great weekend of judo for all ages and abilities.  Full details of the event being held over the weekend of 26th and 27th November are on the club notice board or on the clubs website.

September 2011

Juniors perform well at club championship 

Seven young Walderslade Red Belts entered the mini-championships organised by Medkwai Judo Club at Strood Sports Centre on 25th September, earning 2 Gold 2 Silver and 3 Bronze medals.

Stars of the show were Tyler (TJ) Saberi and Lex Hyde who both won all of their fights by the maximum Ippon score after excellent displays of good attacking judo. Annalise Carew and Erin Baisley were both unlucky not to have gained Gold medals as well, as both lost out narrowly for the top spot in their groups. Annalise was rolled over for a soft Ippon and Erin had two fights go to Golden Score. Erin's Gold medal fight ended with his opponent just securing a small throw in the final stages to clinch the contest.

Kyle and Ryan Woolley both came away with well-earned Bronze medals. Ryan earning his after some confusion over the scoring which resulted in a Sona Mama decision bringing him back to the centre of the mat and being placed into osaekomi from where the bout was restarted.

Howard Ye was also unlucky not to take a Silver in his category, as he was winning comfortably in his second contest before getting caught in a hold-down and losing for Ippon.      

July 2011

Samantha Lowe - 'Train with a Champion' event

Thank you to everyone who came along at the weekend and made our 'Train with a Champion' event a great success.  Over 55 judoka gathered together to train with Samantha Lowe, our leading hope for London 2012 Olympic Games in the -78 kilo category, and then 30 juniors took part in the mini-championships that took place straight afterwards for which Sam stayed behind in order to present medals to all our winners. 

The training sessions were split into two with the morning session covering ne-waza (groundwork) and the afternoon session covering nage-waza (standing techniques).  We were doubly lucky on the day because Sam had also invited down another GB international judo player who trains alongside her at Camberley Judo Club, one of the country’s top judo clubs.  Vince Skillcorn has won both the English and Welsh Opens and taken numerous international medals including a silver at the tough Dutch Open Championships, so it really was two champions for the price of one!

We were really glad that so many of you came along especially as we were using the event partly as a fund-raiser for Sam’s London 2012 fund, and we were pleased that we were able to donate £200 towards it.

Unfortunately Sam's recent knee operation meant that on the day she was unable to practice with any of the club's juniors and was unable to demonstrate any of her dynamic techniques herself.  However, many of our young players still got to randori with another young GB international player and lots of them queued to test their skills against Vince during the afternoon’s randori.

Some of our newly qualified Junior Referees did most of the refereeing during the mini-championships and did an excellent job supported by the clubs Coaches, and volunteers, so a big thank you has to go out to Jarad, Lewis, Georgia and Emma.   Everyone came away with a medal and there were some really good throws, especially Alfie Jarvis's outstanding O Soto Gari for ippon in the first few seconds of one of his fights. 

Well done to everyone who took part regardless of the medal the won.  The aim of the event was to gain experience and get used to the referee's instructions and the way a judo competition is run and was not intended as a serious competition. 

If there is sufficient interest in the club for events like this or just for mini-championships then we will try to organise a few more.  Let us know what you think during the next club session.

Don't forget we are open as usual all through the school summer holidays but if there are any emergencies and the club has to close at all for any reason one evening, we will always put a notice on the club website as soon as we can.  So keep checking the website for updates.

We look forward to seeing you all through the holidays.   

June 2011

Kent International Championships

Molly Harvey continued her run of excellent results at the weekend with a silver medal at one of the biggest events in the country, the Kent International.   The event was held at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in the heat of the weekend and Molly once again showed her class in the Girls U32 kilo category.  The group winner was Courtney Shoulder from Newburn Judo Club who had also triumphed in the British Schools Championships earlier in the year, where Molly took a bronze.  However, on her way to the silver medal at the weekend Molly secured another win over Pinewood’s Holly Eccles and came close to toppling Courtney from the top slot and taking gold herself.

Rayna Jobson also competed at the weekend, in what was her biggest test to date.  Unfortunately Rayna took a heavy landing on her head, neck and shoulder in her opening contest.  Still the plucky youngster came out for her second fight but was clearly still aching from the opening fight and got caught for ippon and exited the event at that stage.

Steve Stacy was the clubs only senior at the event and he entered at the higher than usual weight of U90 kilos.  This was a large group with 14 seniors including a number of foreign entries.  Steve fought well in the higher group but lost out on the medals, being eliminated just one contest before the bronze medal fights.  The category was won by Jon Te Riele from Mahorakan Judo Club, the Dutch club who visit us at Walderslade each November.   

Taking a medal at the Kent International is a tough challenge but a great opportunity to experience top class international competition near to home.  Well done to all those who took part and especially to Molly on another excellent result.

April 2011

Kent Closed Championships

Sunday 10thApril was a busy day for club members at the Kent Closed Championships at Dartford.  As well as four club members taking part in the actual tournament there were also four club members taking their Area Referee practical examinations.

Alan Maxwell competed in his new category of Men’s U73.  This lighter weight has suited him really well and after the first round of fights there was a situation where three players had all won and scored the same wins and points.  This meant a number of contests had to be re-fought.  Alan made sure he took full advantage of the situation and after some impressive fights and one win with a huge left-handed seoi nage for ippon he took a well earned silver medal.

Molly and Charley Harvey both competed in the Girl’s U32 kilo event, which had attracted a large entry.  Molly stormed her way through her contests winning almost all with ippon throws, demonstrating her improving skill levels and her dominance of this category locally.  Charley fought really hard and won a number of fights impressively as well.  The contest to decide whether she came home with a silver or a bronze medal was an exciting and noisy affair.  Charley fought hard but got caught for a waza-ari.  This was a big score to claw back and although Charley made a huge effort she was unable to alter the final result.  However, it had been a plucky and spirited contest and showed Charley’s potential to keep going even under the pressure of being a waza-ari down.

The clubs last player up was Rayna Jobson in the Girls U63 event.  The category was merged with the U70’s and Rayna had a couple of really tough fights against some older girls.  However, she put in a good effort and showed improving skill in dominating her opponents grip, even managing to get right under some of the bigger girls but unfortunately not managing to finish the technique off.  After a number of hard contests Rayna gained the silver medal and showed she is still improving all the time and has much more to offer.

The club’s trainee Area Referees worked hard all day, virtually running the Kent Closed along with another trainee from Sussex.  They were kept under the watchful eyes of experienced Referees Alan Lingham and Graham Holmes.  At the end of what was a long day all had passed and were awarded Area Referee status.  Congratulations go to Steve Morris, Gill Summers, Zeldine Morris and Eddie Orgee.

It is hoped that now the club has a number of its own fully qualified Area Referees and a number of Junior Referees we will be able to hold our own mini-club competitions to develop our younger players tournament skills.

March 2011

British Schools Championships

Three club members travelled to Sheffield over the weekend to compete in the British Schools Championships, returning with a silver and bronze medal between them.

Almost 450 players from across Britain represented their schools at the event, where the three Walderslade players competed in the Girls U32 and Girls U63 kg categories for school years 6 & 7.

Charley Harvey and sister Molly were both competing in a tough U32kg event which saw 11 entries.  Molly got off to a flying start with a quick first win against top Pinewood youngster Holly Eccles, who came second in the British Championships last year, although Charley had an even tougher first contest as she was drawn against current British Champion in the age band, Courtney Shoulder.  Charley did her best but Courtney was just too strong, throwing Charley for an Ippon and moving her into the repechage group to fight off for the bronze medals.  Fate then brought the two sisters together later on when Molly lost her next contest placing her in the same repecharge pool as Charley, where they had to fight in order to move through for the bronze medals.  In a tough contest it was Molly who was successful, putting her back on the bronze medal trail.  Molly won her next two fights in style, the first for ippon with  a hold and the second for ippon with a throw, securing herself the third place bronze.  This was Molly’s second taste of British Championship level success, as she also took a bronze in the British Championships for 10/11 year olds in 2010.

Rayna Jobson competed in the U63kg event and got off to an outstanding start by throwing Rachel Bennett, who beat her in the final of the British Championships in 2010, for waza-ari and reversing the result of last year’s hard fought final.

Her second fight was won in style with two waza-ari’s and she then met Hannah Pitt who had also been unbeaten up until this point.  The contest went the full 3 minutes but Hannah won on a waza-ari throw leaving Rayna with just one more fight to determine whether she would be coming home with a bronze or a silver medal.

Rayna made no mistake with her last fight winning with a hold for ippon and gaining herself a silver medal at this top event and her second at a British Championship level event.

It was another great set of results for the girls and although Charley missed out on the medals this time she gained from the experience  All are now setting their sights on the selections for the British Championships in October.

Lille Training Weekend

On Saturday 12th March 17 club members and parents in four cars made an early start to Dover for the 06:00 ferry crossing to Dunkerque for a training weekend in Lille.  The journey was uneventful and we made it almost to the door of the dojo before we had our first small hiccup when our vehicles were separated in the back streets of Mons en Baroeul.  However, all was not lost and within 15 minutes we had found and gathered everyone outside the dojo and headed in for the weekends first session.  On a packed mat we were taken through a good warm-up by Angelo from Judo Clubs Monsois, before the assembled judoka were split into three groups for more detailed coaching in ne-waza (groundwork) by coaches from Mahorakan, Monsois and Walderslade.

After lunch the second session focussed on tachi-waza (standing judo) and finished with randori before we headed to the hotel for a few hours rest and time to freshen-up before dinner.

This was again in the cafeteria at the Cora supermarket and was well received by most, although for some the language barrier provided for some interesting combinations of main meal.  After dinner we went ice-skating, with almost all of the Walderslade group taking to the ice with varying degrees of success and just a couple of tumbles!

Scott and Sam had brought their own skates and were clearly experienced skaters whereas Julian ‘The Monk’ Fairclough was presumably seeking a bit of help from above in the event of falling over!  The sight of a robed monk making his way around the rink was clearly new to the inhabitants of Lille and many gave him a second glace, whereas others just gave him a wide berth!

When we eventually found our way back to the hotel (it wouldn’t be a club trip without a few missed junctions and last minute U turns) those who still had some energy gathered together for a few drinks to wind down after a long and tiring day.

When the alarms started to go off on Sunday morning at least one of the group had already been up for several hours.  For reasons we are still not fully aware of, Barry ‘AKA Mathius the Greek Adonis’ Hutchings, had been in his car since around 04:00 and later that morning amused the group with his recollections of early morning hotel car park life.

There were some bruised, battered and aching limbs together with some sore heads and tired children come Sunday morning but once again everyone gave all they had left and enjoyed what was an interesting final 2 hour session.

After lunch we headed back to Dunkerque (almost via Lille again) for the 16:00 ferry and a subdued crossing back to Dover.  For some the highlight was being able to watch live coverage of the RBS 6 Nations match between England and Scotland (cleverly planned into the itinerary by Eddie) and made even more enjoyable by England winning.  For others it was somehow causing one of the arcade machines to go into meltdown and allocate £14 worth or credit, enabling Martin and Rich to wipe out almost every alien creature that came at them.

It had been a full-on weekend and for most it had been their first visit to Judo Club Monsois.  Everyone worked hard and had represented the club exceptionally well and the clubs coaches were very proud of everyone, especially the juniors Callum, Erin and Emma.

Michel Dubois and his team once again made us feel very welcome and the planning was first class as usual despite having to cancel a number of the sections planned due to senior coach Michael Claeyssen being unavailable because of sickness.  The Dutch club again sent a large junior team and two top coaches who have offered to try and organise a training session at their club in Holland at some point.     

Our next trip out will be in May when we take a junior team to Holland for the Westland Tournament.  If you interested in taking part in that then keep an eye on the notice board as more details will be out soon.

February 2011

Referee & Table Officials Course

On Saturday 5th February 16 club members attended a Referees and Table Officials Course hosted by Walderslade Judo Club and which was attended by around 40 judoka and volunteers in total.

A top team of Examiners including Alan and Jean Lingham, Martin Rivers, Andrew Tremlett, Peter Seymour and Lisa Harrison, Junior Referee Co-Coordinator for the Southern Region took everyone through their paces and all the Walderslade members enjoyed the experience and learned an awful lot.

Marion Woodward, Director of refereeing for the Southern Area even attended the day to make sure everything was going ok and to offer some of her invaluable knowledge and insight into Refereeing.  Marion is one of the countries top Referees and has officiated at some of the world’s biggest judo events so it was great to get her view on lots of issues and hear real examples of situations she has had to deal with.

Nine of our junior Orange Belts took the Junior Referee award which included a look at the rules with practical demonstrations of some of the more difficult issues for Referees and then a written exam followed by a practical exam where the juniors had to Referee contests between others on the course with the Examiners looking on.

Two of our seniors took the Table Officials Course and both passed with flying colours.  Five other seniors took the Area Referee Exam and all passed with good exam marks and now have to pass the practical assessment at the next available senior championship.

Hopefully with our newly trained team of Junior referees we will be able to think about organising some occasional mini-competitions at the club either during normal lesson nights or even at the weekend if possible.

Well done to everyone who took part.

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