Judo the centre of attention at the East Anglia County shows

Judo captured the imagination at East Anglia’s annual agricultural shows in Ipswich and Norwich which attracted a total of 220,00 visitors.

British Judo in conjunction with Felixstowe Judo Club and Ipswich Judo Club ran demonstrations along with a ‘come and try’ and ‘throw an athlete’ sessions with Technical Officer and former British international Dave Southby the willing recipient.

The event marked the launch of the region’s Summer of Judo which will see the Olympic and Paralympic sport taken into the community with school displays, extra club sessions and further show appearances.

The shows were an invaluable opportunity for clubs to promote themselves and for coaches engage with potential judoka with each young person receiving a certificate for their efforts on the mat.

Over 100 youngsters took part in the ‘come and try’ session which saw them guided through the basics of the sport including break-falls and gripping as well as hold-down challenges.

The Norfolk Show witnessed a sporting first as Active Norfolk introduced a Sports Village, albeit on a smaller scale to their Suffolk counterparts.

The judo offering was supported with incredible enthusiasm by Iceni Judo Club from Lowestoft and THT Judo Club, over 400 people stepped onto the mat to experience judo including five school groups.

Clubs in the region have received great interested on the back of both events with dozens of newcomers now trying the sport in a club environment.

Eastern Regional Development Officer and organiser for both displays Andrew Wilesmith said: “This was a great opportunity to showcase the sport and everyone had a fantastic time. The amount of interest we have had during the shows was very encouraging and subsequently we’ve had a lot of enquiries.

“It’s great to see our young future coaches like Jarreth Hawkins willing to get involved. In Norfolk, Iceni Judo Club coaches and junior players were incredible. THT Judo Club coaches were fantastic as well and worked hard throughout.”

If you want to know more about how to get involved in the Olympic and Paralympic sport of judo in Suffolk or Norfolk please contact Andrew Wilesmith on andrew.wilesmith@britishjudo.org.uk or 07854 244337.