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No Rest For A Busy Orkney Judo Club

By Niall Allison

October has been a busy, exciting and rewarding month for Orkney Judo members.

At the beginning of month, we travelled to Inverness where 2 adult and 6 junior members competed in the Highland Budokan Grand Prix bringing home 1 gold medal, 3 silvers and 3 bronzes. There were some hard-fought contests, but all the competitors did exceptionally well. They showed resilience bouncing back from defeat and humbleness is victory. They all did the club proud, and many coaches praised the juniors on their performances.

The last 2nd last weekend saw Reanne, Thomas and Niall attend a National Masters Dan Grading in Motherwell where Thomas passed their theory exam. Thomas and Niall won through to get their line-ups by winning 2 out of the first 3 fights. Completing a line-up by winning a further 3 fights back-to-back will give you a grade advancement, in this case to 1st Dan Black belt. The field was very evenly matched and only 1 out of the 6 line-ups on that mat were successfully completed but not by our competitors. They did however score points to their accumulative totals.

The last weekend saw 2 of our coaches, Reanne and Niall, attend The Gathering in Largs at the sportscotland National Sports Training Centre. There were over 180 judokas from throughout Scotland in attendance. The Gathering is a 2-day continuous personal development event to help coaches revalidate their coaching qualification. This year’s guests were Dr Andy Dalziell co-designer of Better Movers and Thinkers that Education Scotland uses in physical education programmes, Greg Valentine who is Lead Physical Preparation Coach for JudoScotland, British judo legend Neil Adams MBE and this year’s top billing guests Masashi Ebinuma three-time World Champion and his wife Kana. This is not a classroom style event its hands on. I would hate to think how many times we were thrown in those 2 days. We brought home 2 coaches with fresh new ideas but also made links with more clubs from South.

On the Saturday night of The Gathering JudoScotland hold their annual Coaching and Volunteering Awards. Niall was nominated for Volunteer of the Year and won. JudoScotland are organising a visit to Orkney early next year to present him the award so that all the club can be there.

These were the last events of 2022 but previously this year Niall qualified as a Level 2 coach in February, we held grading sessions in March and September for all classes, attended a Masters Dan Grading in Livingston in May where Reanne and Niall completed their 1st Dan theory exams and scored points towards their competitive points total, we took 5 juniors to compete in their first competition and had 2 adults return to competition after Covid when they attended the Granite City Grand Prix in Aberdeen in June where we brought home a silver and a bronze medal, Reanne has newly qualified as a Level 2 Coach in November and we have grown both the junior and adult classes.

Now it’s time for a well-deserved rest?


Now it’s time for seiryoku saizen katsuyo (best use of one’s energy ) and seiryoku zenyo (maximum efficiency ) leading to jita kyoei (mutual prosperity ) for 2023 and  more firsts, more medals, more coaching qualifications and more grade advancements for all our members.

We would like to express our gratitude to the various sponsors who have made this year possible

Pentland Ferries                                               https://pentlandferries.co.uk/

Cooke Aquaculture Scotland                       https://cookeaquaculturescotland.com/

NorthLink Ferries                                             https://www.northlinkferries.co.uk/

J and W Tait Ltd.                                               https://www.jandwtaitltd.co.uk/

R Clouston Ltd.                                                  https://www.r-clouston.co.uk/

If any companies wish to sponsor us in 2023, please contact us at orkneyjudo@yahoo.com

Orkney Judo will be in the Peedie Cubby on Victoria Street from Monday 28th November to Saturday 10th December. Every penny raised will assist in advancing the club by helping with travel and accommodation expenses to events and competitions plus coaching qualifications and accreditations next year so please pop in and give generously

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