A group of nine juniors aged between 11 and 16 made the trip to Flanders with coaches Vince and Tony. It was an early start on Friday morning and a pleasantly uneventful journey in the trusty club minibus via the Euro tunnel. The accommodation had been pre-booked at Centre Parcs (only a few minutes drive from the venue) and with everyone unpacked there was even time for a bit of fun in the Leisure pool prior to lights out on the first day.
Saturday and Sunday were spent at the competition into which three of the Juniors had been entered and the rest soaked up the atmosphere. Although no-one made it through to the medal fights they fought well and there was no sense of disappointment as the primary purpose of the trip was to attend the camp which followed the next three days.
The camp is notoriously hard with National squad players from various countries in abundance. Vince set a target number of Randoris to be completed over the three days for the group (5 x 2 hour sessions) and let the players loose. For most the first session was a steep learning curve and there were several battered (but not broken) bodies by the end of it. To their credit the kids (& young adults) quickly wised up and found not only survival strategies but also started to impose their own Judo on the opposition, landing plenty of big throws themselves. It was also pleasing to see a strong team spirit developing with the older more experienced players looking out for the younger ones. Down-time between sessions was spent eating the excellent food provided at the camp, sleeping and comparing Hill Climb records (in-joke) of which T Dog was clearly the master! The youngsters were given the freedom to enjoy the Centre-Parc facilities in the evening and the group games provided great entertainment, the undoubted highlight being Logan serenading Vince with a surprisingly good rendition of Robbie Williams’ Angels. All in all the general consensus was that it was a BRILLIANT trip!
Best Head Coach – Vince
Best Assistant Coach – T Dog (Tony)
Male Player of the Camp – Eugene (Ewan)
Female Player of the Camp – Tom Tom (Francesca)
Worst Dressed – Logan for the “Right Said Fred” singlet
Also a big well done to all the others in size order: Chipmunk (Oliver T), Little Jack (Paddy), Cheese (Ben), Sad face (Oliver , Crash (Toby), Preston (James)