Two minibuses and a car all loaded with kids, parents, full timers and food, departed the CJC car park early last Friday heading for Venray, Holland. With 20 fighters in total it promised to be an action packed weekend.
For several of the competitors including 1 of the Elite team, it was their first taste of competing abroad. Setting the bar high was the youngest CJC fighter, Dylan Kirk at U27kg A band. He impressively worked his way to the semi-final where a loss dropped him into the bronze medal contest. In the rather daunting setting of the ‘medal fights room’, Dylan fought well and convincingly won the fight. An over-awed but happy little fighter picked up the first medal of the weekend for CJC. Phoenix Govey Gray U48kg was next, she picked up a bronze medal too. Also in the A band was Pippa Boocock U36kg, a good effort and attitude saw her win 1 match and lose 2. Cameron Charles came the closest to a medal out of the pre-cadets, notching up 4 wins but bowing out in the repecharge with a 7thplace. Many of the remaining Saturday mini CJC fighters won at least 1 contest and showed signs of progression from last year, well done to Tom Kirk U38kg, Luke Smith U38kg, Oakley Boocock U42kg, Joseph Mitchell U46kg, Ben Baxter U46kg, Oliver Baldwin, Tom Lichter and Oliver Penny all in U55kg.
On the Sunday the fighters returned to the hot stadium aiming for more medals. In the cadets Francesca Paine U63kg looked like a different fighter to a year ago, she won 2 fights and really put into practice all of the gripping work from her training. Toby Roberts U60kg despite being the youngest in his group, he won 1 contest and should be pleased with his performances. Oliver Bergqvist U66kg also showed his usual gutsy Judo in his annual competition appearance and went all out against the older opponents. On another day the scoring could have fallen in his favour but it wasn’t to be this year. Logan Phillips U81kg struggled to get into his fights and showed his lack of international competition experience, however hopefully some valuable lessons learnt to build on. Reece Howard U60kg put in a good performance in the juniors with a convincing win but missed the medals this time. George Cullum U73kg, also juniors, fought well and progressed to the semi-final, unfortunately 2 subsequent defeats meant he settled just outside the medals with a 5th place. In the seniors, Dru Oakes and Lasha Lekishvili both in the U73kg faced each other their first contest due to a small entry in the weight, they both finished with bronze medals. Rounding up the day’s action was James Martin U66kg who put in a solid performance and came away with a well-deserved bronze medal.
Coach Vince Skillcorn said “A year on and I can see some really good progression, I’m looking forward to seeing them all fight again in Venray next year, well done to everyone.”
Thank you to all of the parents that helped with the organisation, transportation and feeding of the troops! Another enjoyable and successful trip, well done every one.