On Friday 7th August Camberley Judo Club held their annual Judo Ashes fundraiser to raise money towards the Surrey Going for Gold Charity which supports the club’s athletes on their road to Rio.
The black tie gala dinner was held at the prestigious Pennyhill Park Hotel in Surrey and saw judoka from Camberley Judo Club take on an invitational French side.
After a drinks reception guests were placed at their tables for their starters. British Open -66kg silver medallist Nathon Burns and Northern Ireland Open silver medallist James Martin then did a brief demonstration for an expectant audience. Two kids from the junior section of the club laid down a dance off style challenge to Nathon and James with an impressive and light hearted judo demonstration of their own. The demo finished with two even smaller Camberley juniors throwing all on the mat!
The guests then watched a short heartfelt behind the scenes documentary of what life is like at the club for the athletes before the judo action kicked off.
Expertly summarised by Lee Shinkin, the first contests of the evening saw Danny Williams (-73kg), Aaron Turner (-60kg) and Szandra Szogedi (-57kg) winning all of their fights with a raucous crowd encouraging all the judoka on the mat.
There was then an interval for the main course before the final three contests of the evening. Nathon Burns (-66kg) and Frazer Chamberlain (-90kg) beat their respective opponents which left Owen Livesey to bring home the final victory of the night to seal a clean sweep for Camberley. 6-0 to Camberley to retain the title for a 6th time.
Excited conversation filled the room as guests discussed the efforts and skills that had been on show over their dessert and coffee.
The evening’s finale saw Camberley’s six judoka that were in action as well as Ashley McKenzie, auctioned off with the proceeds supporting the athletes in their efforts to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
“It was a fantastic evening and from a judo perspective I thought the contests were a lot closer than perhaps the scores made out”, said Head Coach Luke Preston.
“This is an important event for Camberley Judo Club and the players and we’d like to thank everyone who came along tonight and supported the event, including the British Judo Association who bought a table”, Luke added.
“Although we’ve done the Ashes for quite a few years now that was one of the best events we’ve had”, said Camberley’s Sam Skillcorn who helped organise the event.
“The atmosphere was amazing and the support we’ve received has been incredible”, Sam added.
By the end of the night that support had totalled to £23,895 which will be distributed amongst the players.
For more information about the Surrey Going for Gold charity and Camberley Judo Club visithttp://www.camberleyjudo.co.uk/about…/surrey-going-for-gold/.
Camberley Team: Szandra Szogedi (-57kg), Aaron Turner (-60kg), Nathon Burns (-66kg), Danny Williams (-73kg), Owen Livesey (-81kg), Frazer Chamberlain (-90kg)
French Team: Laure Fournier (-57kg), Romain Doudon (-60kg), Fabien Lorenzo (-66kg), Sylvain Caumontat (-73kg), Lucas Huillet (-81kg), Valentin Jourdan (-90kg). Coach-Guilaume Alberti.
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