Judo fun day proves a success

PUBLISHED: 09:07 19 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:39 06 May 2010

JUDO: On Saturday almost 100 local youngsters aged five to 11 took part in a Judo Fun Day held at St Albans Judo Club. The event was the brain-child of the coaches of three local judo clubs and the clubs participating were St Albans Judo Club, Bury Judo

JUDO: On Saturday almost 100 local youngsters aged five to 11 took part in a Judo Fun Day held at St Albans Judo Club.

The event was the brain-child of the coaches of three local judo clubs and the clubs participating were St Albans Judo Club, Bury Judo Club from Hemel Hempstead, Welwyn Garden City Judo Club and the Haberdashers Aske's School Judo Club which is affiliated to WGC.

Bob Cleevely, the event's host from St Albans, explained that the coaches of the three clubs got together through a common desire to meet the needs of judo beginners in Hertfordshire.

"The decision was therefore taken", explained Bob, "not to simply run a competitive inter-club judo tournament but to set up an integrated 'fun day' where novices and beginners could be introduced to the rules and etiquette of the judo contest environment in a fun, relaxed and informal way without a focus purely on results."

The U8s had their own mat where Claire Banham of St Albans enthusiastically organised over forty children setting up some contest games together with children from other clubs in small mixed teams. "This was not serious 'club versus club' stuff," explained Claire, "but great, fully integrated fun."

The eight to 12-year-olds contested for two hours over two mats with coaches acting as referees

The players were weighed in and placed into groups with children as close as possible to their own age, weight, grade and experience.

The event was also an excellent learning experience for some of the more advanced junior players from the three clubs, many of whom helped out as table officials, time-keepers and even a spot of supervised refereeing.

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