Jubilant judoka rake in medals at contests

Bury Judo Club winners.
Bury Judo Club winners.

THESE members returned from their latest judo competitions with the biggest hauls of medals.

Bury Judo Club in Hemel Hempstead entered 23 judoka into a schools tournament on Sunday and returned with 19 medals.

Two weeks before, 27 judoka went to the Herts Area Closed Tournament and returned with 25 medals.

Head coach Roy Smith said: “It was absolutely superb. In the Herts Closed we had unbelievable success and in comparison to big clubs that train every night, we ended up top of the medal lists at both events.”

Bury Judo Club trains once a week, on Monday nights, and Roy said their success is because of the techniques they have been practising.

He said: “We try to emphasise throwing judo. Rather than little kockdowns we try and train our kids to throw big.

“That is what we have been practising for the last 18 months and it has really paid dividends.”

The club, which has been run for more than 30 years, has around 60 members, with the youngest four years old and the oldest Roy at 56.

Kings Langley School pupil Alex Gill fought in the U55kg category at the schools tournament and was awarded the Spirit of Judo.

The teenager was praised for his tenacity in a tough group.

In the competition, where entrants represents clubs as well as school, Broadfield School in Hemel Hempstead won the Junior Trophy.

In the Herts Area Closed tournament, six-year-old Luke Saulters fought in the U25kg category.

He was awarded the best boy judoka of the day for superb technique and sportsmanship.

Roy said: “If he is like this at six, what he will be like at 16 if he stays with us will be brilliant.”

Mum Annie, who also has 10-year-old Thomas at the club, said: “It is a really good opportunity for him to show at a young age he can do well at something.”

For more information, visit www.buryjudoclub.co.uk