Saxmundham Judo Club in Suffolk have had a busy week hosting  two events that they have been planning for some time

First up on Saturday 26th November was the 2nd Suffolk Mini Mon and an U8 Festival (the first licensed by the BJA within the county). These two events attracted participants from virtually every club in the County, the Mini Mon reaching capacity well in advance of the event.

The U8 Festival, with around 20 participants, started at 9.30am with the youngsters split into small groups allowing each participant at least 2 contests. By 10.30am everyone had taken to the mat and moved through to the presentation area where each judoka was presented with a medal and an event wrist band. Feedback from parents and judoka was very positive, and everyone seemed to have had a good time.

The Mini Mon then started with around 70 judoka keenly contesting groups of 3 or 4. As already mentioned virtually all clubs in Suffolk were represented, and all had brought players who were at the correct level of development. Throughout the competition there were no real mismatches and each contest was very keenly contested. All judoka went away with a medal and a commemorative wristband,

Thanks should go to the referees and table official’s, that again came from a variety of clubs who ensured the event went without a hitch.

On Tuesday 29th November the club then ran a Masterclass programme with the assistance of Rio Olympian Nekoda Davis and her coach Jo Crowley. This was made possible with funding from their host school Saxmundham Free School and Suffolk Sport.

The club is starting a new session for students at the school so the first two sessions were during the school day, giving pupils the chance to take part in a taster session coached by an Olympian, not something you get the chance to do every day. Each student had a Judo suit to wear, although not to keep (courtesy of the Suffolk Sport funding) and were put through their paces. At the conclusion of the sessions students were given information about the new session and a large number expressed interest in getting involved which bodes well for the future.

These sessions were followed by a further 2, the first for Junior members of the club and a second for Adults from across the county. Both were well attended with all Judoka having a great time and benefiting from the experience of working with such a high quality player, along with an excellent Coach in Jo Crowley.

These events show what is possible for a club to achieve, even a relatively new one like Saxmundham. It does have to be said that these events do not take place without dedicated club member’s and as such Keith Cartwright Jones needs a big thank you for all his efforts, along with all the other members of the club who gave up their time to help make the events such a success.

Many thanks to Laurence Kenyon, BJA Delivery Officer, for the report