It was an excellent day at the K2 Centre in Crawley for the Southern Area Open for Pre Cadets & Cadets. Not only were there medals galore for Camberley’s Juniors but also a buzzing atmosphere and great team spirit amongst parents & kids alike.
On the mat the girls stole the show with medals from Bethany & Izabelle Kingston (both Gold) & Phoenix Govey Gray (Bronze). Bethany (U57 12-13Yrs) & Izabelle (U25 8-9Yrs) were representing Camberley for the first time and didn’t disappoint. Izabelle won both her fights (one on flags against a gritty opponent and another with a superb hold-down for Ippon), Bethany won three out of three, demonstrating why she has recently received a call up to the England Pre-Cadet Squad with a big Ippon throw in her last bout against a very tricky fighter, and Pheonix (U40 8-9Yrs) who is continuing to show improvement every time she competes won two of four fights including one of the throws of the day. Unfortunately for her opponent the throw was scored as a Wazari (7 points) and she had the ignominy of flying through the air a second time before getting away!
The boys performances were equally impressive and win or lose they all showed great determination, work rate and developing technique. The medals on this occasion didn’t all come from the normal culprits with Tom Kirk (U34 8-9), Ben Baxter (U42 10-11) and James Preston-Howes (U60 Young Men) all finishing 5th in their groups, with both Tom and James losing medal fights against strong opponents on flags and Ben having to swallow the bitter sweet pill of defeat to club mate Dennis. Ewan Tweedie also fought well without reward and should be encouraged by his progress. However not to be completely overshadowed by the Girls, Toby Roberts and Oliver Baldwin took Gold & Bronze respectively in the U46 12-13Yrs. Like Bethany, Toby also seemed galvanised by his recent selection to the England squad, and it was an encouraging result for Oliver after what has been a difficult transition to this age-band for him. Dennis Gorman, a recent addition to this exciting squad of CJC Juniors, showed great composure in securing Bronze (U42 10-11) in his first major competition.
This was a strong competition with four mats on the go and 380 entrants. For Camberley’s mini warriors to return with three gold and three bronze medals is testament to the hard work put in by themselves and their coaches this year.