Bradley Stoke Judo Club Young Guns Come to the Fore

Over the last month it has been the turn of the younger members to come to fore and demonstrate their Judo skills in competition. The month of June started with a young team visiting the prestigious 5 Continents competition in Grisolles South West France (photo right). The team, under the guidance of coach Gavin Whitfield, consisted of Antonio Caswell, Ashlie Whitfield, Millie Mcgeown, Gabe Wootton, Charlie Whitfield and Caleb Wootton. On the first day of competition it was the team, event which consisted of 49 from countries as far away as the USA.

The format of the competition is that you have 2 teams of 5 players and various weights fight off against each other in quick succession. After the 5 fights are completed the team with the most wins takes the contest. After 3 close fought rounds of competition against other teams, the young Bradley Stoke team aged from 8 to 11 years old ended up 7th out of 49. A fantastic effort by all the team members.  The following day the two oldest members of the team, Charlie and Caleb fought in the individual competition. Charlie who is only 11 and who normally fights in the under 12s category decided to try her luck and fight up in the under 15 category. Charlie gave a very good account of herself against more experienced girls, winning a couple of fights and ended with a fantastic 7th place.  Caleb also had a tough task ahead of him against older and more experienced boys but again did himself proud. These competitions are great development opportunities for our younger club members which exposes them to different styles of judo that they would not necessarily see in the UK.

The following weekend we took a team of 13 to the Western Area Closed Championships in Paignton, Devon. Though this was a smaller and younger team we took due to school exams; we still managed to return with 6 golds (Western Area Champions), 5 silvers, 1 bronze and 2 7th places. Some notable performance were from;

Axel Hailstone: Dominated the under 18 and senior categories winning gold in both at just 15 years old.

Madeleine Young: Who had 6 fights in the under 48kgs in the pre-cadets category (u15) to win gold with her superior judo

Jess Reeves: Who has recently returned to judo after injury and her 1st competition for 2 years took a fantastic silver in u52kgs in the under 18 category.

Charlie Whitfield: Dominated her group in the under 12s to take gold.

Annabelle Fowler: Her very 1st competition at this level and ended with a great silver. Would probably been gold if she hadn’t come up against club mate Charlie.

Scott Bedford: Dominated his group in the under 12s to win gold.

Last but not least many congratulations to Terri Gough (photo right with BSJC coach Pete Douglas) who enters the Bradley Stoke Judo Club record books as our youngest player to achieve her 1st Dan black belt at 14 years of age. This is a great achievement as Judo is one of the few martial arts where you can only attain your black belt by accumulating 100 points by winning competitive fights. Terri travels from her home in Salisbury up to 3 times a week to train at the club.

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