Kingsley School Judo Club look back on 2012 success

Young and old judoka collectively contributed to producing yet another incredible year for Kingsley School Judo Club. The school runs a Judo Academy Programme in partnership with the University of Bath High Performance National Centre for Judo.

Kingsley School Judo Club has also run an open community club. Its grass roots development through to high level coaching and organisation has been acknowledged by being awarded the Sport England’s Bronze and Silver level Club Mark status by the British Judo  Association.

This year, for the first time, two members finished the year high on the Great Britain ranking lists. Clara Gawlas finished the year ranked 10th and Andrew Serdega finished 9th place in their weight groups after a long season of tournaments throughout 2012.  

During the year eight members were selected to compete for the Devon Judo Squad at the regional County team championships in Somerset. Both Andrew Serdega and Sam Foulser helped the Senior Devon Men’s team win Gold. While Clara Gawlas produced a fine performance to help the Junior Devon Girls team also win Gold.

Three fighters Chris Edwards, Sam Foulser and Oliver Mathers where selected onto the West of England squad, with Sam Foulser representing the squad at the British regional team championships in Sheffield. Sam and Chris also represented the squad on two International trips to Holland during the year and even though neither won any medals, the experience gained has been vital to their ongoing development.

Brothers Chris and Michael Edwards joined the England Judo team and travelled to compete in the Flanders International tournament in Belgium.

The club’s results in 2012 are again providing good performances results for the clubs coaches. A team of 38 Judoka competed at 22 tournaments from grass roots to international level, winning in total 64 medals, 20 Gold, 12 Silver and 34 Bronze medals.

One of the highlights of the year was the under 16 team who finished in third place at the Devon County Inter Club Team Championships. Seven fighters in the individual event all won Gold medals to become Devon Champions. Finlay Mathers, Denver Butterworth, Joe Hillyer, Louis Hughes, Oliver Mathers, Michael Edwards and Joe Wickett.

At a higher level, Sam Foulser and Michael Edwards won Bronze medals at the British Schools National Championships held in Sheffield. Josh Hunt claimed a Bronze at the highly rated Kent International Championships held in London.

At a senior level, heavy weight fighter Steve Dean finished the year ranked 17th in Great Britain after winning medals on the Senior National Ranking circuit.

The club’s best results came towards the end of the year in Bristol at the Tora Kai low grades championships when we topped the medal table winning 12 medals, including three gold’s from Elliott Sutcliffe, Louis Hughes and Kitty Lavelle at this grass roots level event.

Away from the competitive judo circuit, the club successfully run a British Judo Association young officials course where some members learnt how to operate and help run competitions. 

Club also celebrated being awarded a small grant from the Bideford Trust, which is being used to invest in extra coaches and equipment to improve to our young athletes.

The club also raised just under £100 during a one of our festival event which we donated to Sport relief.

The club is growing very successfully and now offers many different levels of coaching to not only school children but the open community throughout the week. We encourage a fun approach to learning Judo and welcome newcomers to this fast and exciting Olympic Sport of Judo.

For further information about joining the club email