South Coast Open – Worthing Sunday 18th November saw four of our young fighters, Tom Kirk, Louis Baylis, and Joseph Mitchell at under 12’s and James Preston-Howes in the over 12’s, competing at the South Coast Open Age Banded competition in Worthing. Tom Kirk got things rolling having the first fight of the day in the -34Kgs category. He started well winning by ippon after gaining several smaller scores. His second fight was over quickly Tom scoring with ippon after only seven seconds and gaining him a semi-final fight. In the semi-final he came up against a strong Pinewood fighter. With the clock running down it looked like it was going to go into golden score. However as the Pinewood player tried to counter Tom caught him with a ko-uchi gari to move into the final. The final proved to be a very close fight but Tom won by a yuko to earn the gold. Louis Baylis was also fighting in the -34Kgs and had a tough draw. In his first fight he was up against the eventual silver medallist. He fought extremely well out gripping the other player for a lot of the contest and was unfortunate to end up losing. Even though the result was against him he’s clearly gained a lot of confidence from this strong performance and will take this forward. His next fight was again against one of the eventual medallist and once more he fought strongly but again missed out. Although not managing to progress further Louis fought extremely well and on another day could well have ended up in the medals. Joseph Mitchell was fighting in the -42Kgs category for the first time and his inexperience at this weight, and also level told. He fought well in all three of his fights but was up against more experienced opponents and was unable to secure a victory. Although not winning any fights today he’ll have learnt from the experience and next time hopefully secure some victories. The final player to fight was James Preston-Howes in the -60 Kgs. This was his second competition of the weekend having also fought at Harlow the day before where he took gold. In a very strong group James found himself up against much higher grade players but managed to win 3 of his five fights to take a very well earned bronze, a nice end to his weekend, and another medal for Camberley. With two of the four fighters taking medals and everyone gaining valuable experience this was a good competition for the Camberley players.