The British Judo Association ran its first Technical Officials for Clubs & Schools (TOCS) event in Devon over the weekend at Kingsley School Judo Club in Bideford.
The course was co-ordinated by Children & Young Volunteers Development Officer Jess Fack and Volunteer Development Manager Terri-Ann Elliot who were assisted by Regional Development Officer Stephen Hammond and club coach Simon Ward.
TOCS allows children from the age of 10 years old to learn the skills and develop the knowledge to become a young official at judo events. The course taught the judoka the importance of the role, how a competition is set up and helped in developing an understanding of the referee signals and commands, and to then how to put the scores and penalties onto a scoreboard.
The judoka where then able to complete a number of practical judo bouts which allowed them to practise their new skills using electronic and manual scoreboards, prior to completing a final written quiz to see how much knowledge had been learnt.
The eight members from Kingsley School Judo Club, Felicity Barkley 10, Finlay Mathers 11, Louis Hughes 11, Lander King 15, Oliver Mathers 14, Clara Gawlas 14, Josh Hunt 16 and Alexander Way 18 all truly enjoyed the course and found the opportunity to have a practical go at officiating a real challenge and something which will now encourage them to continue to work as a TOCS in local judo competitions in the future.
Louis Hughes said: “I had a great day, I found it a fun and exciting way to learn about the scores and how the scoreboards work, I’ve fought in a few competitions and never really thought about it before. It was not as easy as I thought it was.”
Lander King said: “I had a really good day, I don’t really enjoy competition judo, but this is something I found I liked and would very much enjoy carrying on and working at events.”
Simon Ward said: “The course tutors where able to present the course brilliantly, it was well structured and had a good balance to practical and theory work. I see these courses as having a vital role in keeping Judoka interested in areas of Judo which are outside of the common hard training and competition circuits.”