Sheffield University and the University of East London events are a huge success

In partnership with BUCS, Sheffield University and the University of East London hosted two student judo events in London and Sheffield to provide additional opportunities outside of the British University, Colleges and Schools (BUCS) Judo Championships for students to access competitive judo.

The Sheffield University Kyu Grade Tournament open to all kyu-grades was aimed at players that graded within the last 12 months, was hosted by Sheffield University Judo Club and took place at the Goodwin Sports Centre on Sunday 16 November 2014.

David Rapley, Captain of Sheffield University Judo Club said: “Sheffield University Judo Club hosted yet another successful tournament with over 100 entries from Sheffield and 14 other universities. The white to orange belt category provided many beginners with their first taste of competition while the brown belt category offered a great opportunity for point scoring towards their 1st Dan.”

The London Area Universities and Colleges Open took place a week later on Sunday 23 November at the University of East London Sports Dock.

The tournament can cater for up to 400 competitors, with events for various standards of judoka from novice through to Dan Grade black belt.

Karen French London Area Chair said: “Each year the event has grown to capacity and this year we have added a fourth mat area due to the large demand of 300 competitors from over 34 universities and 18 colleges.”

The event grew out of the London 2012 Games legacy and has grown from strength to strength. This is due to the generosity of local officials and the London area in hosting the event and carrying on the push with the growth of the Further and Higher Education sectors at the great venue.

London has an abundance of universities and the venue at the Sports Dock at UEL, just along from the Excel centre has become its natural home. Universities from all over the country are keen to attend each year.

Lary Kiala, 16, won a silver medal in the Universities and Colleges Judo Championship in November.

The teenager, a student at the College of North London, began training with former British judo champion Lionel Hibbert after being offered weekly judo sessions.

Mr Kiala said he was pleased to have won the medal, and is looking forward to his next competition.

Lionel Hibbert said: “I’m incredibly proud of Lary. He gave an outstanding performance and really deserved the silver medal. All the team did so well.

“They have come so far in such a short time, and I hope this is the start of many more wins for them.”

London also saw 200 young people entering the London Schools Qualifier for the British Schools Nationals on the Sunday so the whole event was quite a busy but rewarding weekend with an educational focus.

Look out for future events on the BJA calendar at https://www.britishjudo.org.uk/events-calendar