The C2 International camp, held in Tonbridge between 19-22 December 2013, was praised by Ezio Gamba – the head coach of the Russian National Team.
The respected former international, who is credited with beating Neil Adams to gold at the Olympics, attended the camp. There were two Russian teams (men and women) also in attendance, including the men’s team which Gamba leads and won the most judo medals at London 2012.
In total, more than 200 Judoka attended the camp which specialises in high-impact indoor randori. In addition to the Russian’s, there was a strong German contingent and a Swiss academy team of girls.
Organiser and co-founder of the camp, Carl Finney said: “This camp is going from strength to strength. With the strong international teams that attend all have been impressed with the quality of the randori and top class hospitality at Tonbridge School offers.”
Luke Preston from Camberley, Nathon Burns (-66kg), Danny Williams (-73kg), all attended the camp and engaged in two days of indoor sessions that comprised over 100 randori practices.
The camp, now in its fifth year, was designed to bring quality international athletes over to Britain.
Competition was especially fierce in the -60kg and -66kg categories. Burns went up against two Russian fighters in the -60kg and -66kg categories.
A strong team of Russia boys included: Savva Karakizidi (-60kg) – bronze medallist at the Russian National Championships (Junior) in 2012; Armen Avagyan (-66kg) – senior national bronze medallist and Pavek Malakhov (-73kg) – two time silver medallist at Russia’s National Championships for both junior and seniors and Junior World Champion of 2011 Kazbek Zankishiev (-90kg).
Finney said: “The camp was fantastic this year, with more foreign players than ever before.
“We had great reports from everybody saying that they want to come back next year.
“We are really excited about the next camp as it seems to be going from strength to strength.”
Camberley’s Luke Preston said: “Athletes from Camberley have attended the Tonbridge camp every year since its inception.
“It is a great camp, especially for the under 23 and junior age groups.
“Well done to Carl and Chris for hosting another successful camp.”
Words by Donna Richardson.