Its been 16 months since the Western Area last attended the British Schools National Championships in Sheffield. But last weekend, after all their creative ways to keep their Area Training positive and meaningful for their judoka, they got back in their cars, packed a lunch box, packed their kits and brought a lateral flow test result and held their “Big Bash Bounce Back into Judo” Training day.
The weekend was a celebration of judo and an opportunity for everyone to get involved and just simply enjoy being back on the Tatami and what a fitting day it was. Just as Chelsea Giles won her bronze medal in Tokyo, they started their session at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre.
Over 140 judoka made the journey with representatives across Minors to Veterans representing over 30 clubs from within the Western Area and Welsh Judo Association.
The judo was all completed within a fantastic atmosphere and wonderful spirit.
The morning session was based on Newaza, which included some progressing from some games and skills before stepping up into 10 rounds of Randori that will surely leave some aching muscles the next day.
In the afternoon, it was time to step back into Tachiwaza drills and they began to add some gentle progression before completing a further seven rounds of Randori before finishing with a little bit of fun allowing all their youngest judoka to take on the Dan Grades.
Western Area’s Simon Ward was thrilled with how the day ran after 18 months away:
“One of my standout memories from today was watching Senior World championships GB Judoka Lele Nairne from Bradley Stoke JC just playing and inspiring the youngsters judoka, truly just mixing in and having fun with the kids.”
“Another moment was witnessing the Dan Grades not only doing Randori again but actually passing on knowledge and helping our Cadets and Juniors simply improve their potential.”
“I’m totally blown away with the success of the day. I have to admit, if it wasn’t for Judo and having a purpose to keep our Western Area Judo meaningful during the past 18 Months, I’m not sure how I might of coped with Lockdown personally. So having today to final welcome our Western Area Judoka back together is a unprecedented step forward and hopefully the start of a new beginning for us all.”
“I just want to thank everyone who attended not only today but also contributed to our Lockdown Judo programme. It has been quite a journey together and I encourage everyone to get the momentum going forward…”