Summer school proves a learning curve

PUBLISHED: 15:34 11 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:34 06 May 2010

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

ST Albans Judo Club ran their summer school for the 20th year last month. This long running annual event offers children and adults of varying ability an opportunity for a week of Judo, fitness, fun and games. The summer school is run by Alf Hopkins,

ST Albans Judo Club ran their summer school for the 20th year last month.

This long running annual event offers children and adults of varying ability an opportunity for a week of Judo, fitness, fun and games.

The summer school is run by Alf Hopkins, a long standing mentor of the club, with the help of the clubs dedicated instructors and support staff, who give up a week of their summer for free. Club chairman, Bob Cleevely said: "To reach 20 years of summer schools is such a remarkable achievement and everyone at the club is very proud of this. This year some 60 judoka benefited from the training provided under the guidance of 6th Dan Sensei Alf Hopkins."

Diane Paveley, a helper at the summer school, said: "It is such a delight to see the children develop and have fun over the week. Some of the older children have a chance to lead teams and help the younger ones, whilst all the children improve their Judo and fitness. Also, we are extremely lucky that our instructors give up so much of their own time for the children."

Whilst the emphasis during the daytimes is training with the children, there is no rest for the instructors, as the club offers adults a series of sessions in the early mornings and evenings to improve their Judo as part of the summer school.

At the end of the summer school there are some exciting competitions for the best demonstrations of judo throws and holds, including the fascinating 'slow-motion technique' contest and the final of the team competition. Ian Wasey, one of the club's instructors, said: "I rely on the summer school to refresh my enthusiasm for judo and meet old friends, who come from all over the Country. Alf Hopkins is an inspirational coach, and the Summer school gives me a wonderful opportunity to improve my own skill and fitness, as well as helping the children. It's hard work, but great fun."

St Albans Judo Club is 58 years old this year. The club is currently campaigning to remain on its present site, adjacent to the old fire station, off Harpenden Road. It hopes to be able to build a new state of the art dojo to enable the club to continue to serve the community for the next 50 years.

Rodney Day, a parent, said: "The summer school is a fantastic opportunity for our children to get some exercise, learn some Judo, meet friends and socialise during the summer vacation period.

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