Trophy presentation for winners of British School Championships

Ernest Bevin School was awarded a team trophy during a BJA presentation for topping the medal table with five gold, two silver and a bronze at the British Schools Championships earlier this year.

Hackney-based Petchey Academy judo team joined them to compete in a friendly team event. The club was chosen because they have recently adopted judo and the young judoka were inspired by the more established Ernest Bevin’s impressive judo record.

The warm up was run by Darren Hawney of Petchey just before a team contest inside Ernest Bevin’s purpose built dojo. Eric Bonti of Ernest Bevin and Balmore Ellis also led the coaching session. The trophy was presented to the captain of the Ernest Bevin Team Adam Adman by Wayne Melville from the Schools Commission.

Joint principals of Ernest Bevin Mike Chivers and Rukhsana Sheikh were also in attendance. Melville said: “The event was very enjoyable and there were plenty of positive exchanges between both of the schools.”

Ernest Bevin College – History and Origins

The origins of judo at Ernest Bevin College stretch back to the late 60’s when it was introduced by a teacher and soon became a popular activity with the school. In the 1970 and 80’s the school developed quite a reputation for producing strong judoka and did very well at the British schools championships which was a major event in those days.

The 90’s saw another major shift in Ernest Bevin’s Judo development with the arrival of Margaret and Simon Hicks. Along with the Richard Gledhill (a former Physical Education Teacher and Judo Black Belt) they have produced many top fighters such as Winston Gordon – three-time Olympian, Commonwealth Champion, Keith Davies Commonwealth Champion and several times British Champion and Eric Bonti world university silver medallist and five-time British Champion.

Following Eric’s retirement from competitive judo in 2004 an opportunity became available for me to Teach P.E and redevelop the Judo programme at EBC with a newly built sports centre including a purpose built Dojo.

Eric said: “I immediately jumped at the chance and with the help of our coaching team including , Winston Gordon, Darren Hawney and Balmore Ellis we have since built a strong judo programme which includes judo within the P.E curriculum as well as a community judo club which provides development pathways to excellence for our college pupils as well as children from the local community.

Working alongside the Greenhouse Charity who provide financial and technical development of full time sports coaches, the judo programme at EBC has blossomed.

“With pupils now achieving success at national and international level, our vision for Schools Judo is being realised. After being introduced to judo through or P.E curriculum and extra-curricular clubs, the pupils are then encouraged to further develop their Judo by attending the community club which is open three times a week.”

In the last year another significant development has been the implementation of the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence or AASE. This Level 3 course provides prospective elite performers with the understanding and tools required to excel in top level competition.

Ernest Bevin College is one of six judo centres nationally which is working with the BJA to provide this exciting sporting apprenticeship to young judoka living within our locality aged between 16 -25.

These types of initiatives will help us to develop the structure and quality of our Judo delivery at Ernest Bevin College and hopefully produce high quality Judoka for years to come.

Words by Donna Richardson.