Recent Events

Recent Events

Golden Boy!!!


Last weekend, the British Schools Judo Championships took place at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield and four players, their families and coaches travelled from Carmarthen Judo Club in order to take part.  This was one of the first major competitions of the year for some of the players and they were all looking forward to stepping onto the mats.


The first two club members competed on day one of the championships in the Year 8/9 category.  Erin Powell of Queen Elizabeth High School, Carmarthen, was competing for the first time in the British Schools Championships and was entered into the under 36kg category.  However, she weighed slightly over the allowance and was placed into the under 40kg category.  Erin needed to approach each contest with a strong mind-set, especially because she could have been giving away up to 4kg to her opponents.  With three in her group, she started out strong in her first contest, but unfortunately got caught on the ground and was held for an ippon score.  Erin had one more contest to test her skills and took control from the outset.  She controlled the grips and applied various techniques.  Eventually she threw her opponent for a wazari and held her down for an ippon win.  With this confident performance Erin earned herself a well-deserved silver medal.


Next up was Sennen Copper of Queen Elizabeth High School, Carmarthen.  He was booked into the under 60kg boys category.  Having made weight, he was given time to warm up and watch Erin compete before he stepped onto the mat.  Having a Bye in the first round meant that he could watch his potential opponents in their opening contest and create a game plan for his contest.  Although nervous, he walked out onto the mat with an air confidence.  The fight lasted only a few seconds, with Sennen countering his opponent’s slow technique and throwing him with ura-nage to score ippon.  Full of confidence after his win, Sennen went straight into the attack on his second contest, attempting various techniques in different directions, beating his opponent with an ippon throw to the rear.  Having won his place in the final, Sennen approached his final contest with thoughtful respect of his opponent, who was a deserved finalist alongside him.  His opponent attempted a groundwork turnover on him, which Sennen defended with great strength and experience.  Unfortunately his opponent managed to get a hold, but the technique was too loose.  Sennen manage to rotate himself out of hold, take his partner over his body and create a solid hold of his own.  Sennen secured himself the Gold medal with a hold for 20 seconds.  A great performance throughout the morning to become the British Schools Champion!!!


Day two of the competition saw Ellia Copper competing in the Year 6/7 category and Lydia Pearson competing in the Year 12/13 category.  It was Ellia’s first experience of the British Schools competition and following her brother’s excellent performance the day before, she was fully prepared to absorb the experience.  Ellia competing for Johnstown Primary School was competing in the under 40kg weight category.  She had seven players in her group and approached her first contest with confidence and judo spirit.  Her first opponent was taller and managed to take high grip.  Unfortunately Ellia got caught with a technique and thrown for ippon.  She was determined to improve on her next contest, one which if she won, would give her the opportunity to fight for the bronze medal.  She attempted numerous techniques and was able to take her opponent backwards for a wazari score, one more would give her a chance to move onto the next round.  Unfortunately, she got caught by her opponent for the full ippon score.  She performed well in her first attempt at this prestigious competition and will definitely improve in the future.


The final competitor was Lydia Pearson of Queen Elizabeth High School, Carmarthen in under 70kg weight category.  An experienced player at this level, Lydia approached the day with her usual confidence, maturity and focus for her up and coming contests.  With ten in her group she was going to have a busy day.  Her first contest was against an older and higher graded player.  Not deterred by this Lydia took control from the start, applying various standing and groundwork techniques.  She successfully won her first contest by throwing her opponent for a beautiful ippon score.  Her next contest was the semi-final.  She showed great strength, especially with her grip work, to move her opponent around the contest area and try a reverse technique.  With only a few seconds to spare, one of her throwing techniques got turned, giving her opponent a wazari throw and then a secure hold.  In her final contest, which was a fight for the Bronze, Lydia was determined to win.  She fought extremely well, but her opponent caught her for a wazari score.  Lydia had many chances to get the score back, but unfortunately the time was against her and at the end of four minutes her opponent was awarded the win.  Both Ellia and Lydia performed well on the second day of the competition and learned a lot from the experience.


Each competitor performed very well in a tough competition and they were supported by their friends and family for the whole weekend.  Each has gained valuable experience from the event that they will take into future contests.  They showed that local schools have the talent within their ranks to produce excellent fighters in this Olympic sport.

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