Evidence of Camberley’s growing commitment to the Cadets & Pre-cadets was there to be seen at the Midland Area Age Banded Judo Championship this weekend. Last year C.J.C. had five representatives, this year there were eight. This is a three star event attended by some of the very best youngsters across Britain and although Saturday saw no medals, strong performances from both Toby Roberts (U46kgs) & Ewan Tweedie (U55kgs) secured them 5th Place finishes. Toby scored a couple of nice Ippon throws and showed considerable maturity in being prepared to try out new techniques (which he’d been working on in recent club sessions) rather than playing it safe. It was also good to see Ewan winning fights at this level and Oliver Baldwin (U46kgs) started strongly in his two bouts and despite failing to secure a win, is now showing signs that he is able to compete at this higher level.
On Sunday the honours went to Sarah Hill (Gold U70kgs) and Ben Baxter (Bronze U42kgs). Sarah underlined her status as GB No.1 in her category with three hard fought wins, coming back from two scores down in the final to throw her opponent for Ippon. Ben too impressed with a strong controlled display to take his place on the podium, only losing to a previous British Champion who took the Gold . Also fighting were Dennis Gorman (U38kgs), Tom Kirk (U34kgs) and Jack Baxter (U27Kgs). This was the first outing for Dennis at this level and despite losing his two contests he competed well and was a little unfortunate in his second fight which he had led by a wazari. Tom won one of his three fight and had he taken a less cavalier approach in the third contest, which he was leading with just a few seconds to go, would have been fighting for bronze. This was a very creditable performance from Tom given that he was the youngest fighter in his group by some margin. Jack too was the youngest in his weight category in which he was pitted against the Gold & Bronze medalists from last year’s British Championship for 10 & 11 year olds. He demonstrated great heart to go into battle with these boys and although on this occasion he was well beaten he will no doubt come back stronger for the experience.
These young Judoka are showing improvement with every competition and irrespective of the results there is never a shortage of tenacity, courage and skill. They are all winners!! Anyone wishing to join the growing army of travelling C.J.C. mini warriors should speak with one of the Coaches who will be happy to advise which are the most appropriate competitions for their level of Judo.