'Inspirational' Olympic athlete Ashley McKenzie gives masterclass sessions at Littleport Judo Club
PUBLISHED: 10:12 12 November 2018
Olympic judo athlete Ashley McKenzie visited Littleport Leisure Centre on Saturday to deliver two judo masterclass sessions.
Ashley has represented Great Britain at two Olympic Games, London 2012 and Rio 2016.
He has also won many medals at World and European Judo Championships and is currently working his way towards his third Olympic Games at Tokyo in 2020.
Ashley ran a junior class and an advanced senior class and Littleport Judo Club were joined by a team of judoka from Witcham Judo Club and other judo players who travelled from across Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk to train with Ashley.
Judo coach Stuart Aldous said: “Ashley is a fantastic athlete, a hugely talented judoka and a real inspiration for all.
“Ashley’s masterclass sessions are well known for his dynamic and high-energy approach and also for the quality technical content.
“I spoke with Ashley last year about getting him along to Littleport and I was really pleased when we managed to find a suitable date between Ashley’s many training and contest commitments.
“During the morning Ashley managed to spend time training with every player individually as well as taking on each player in some fun contests.
“It was a fantastic morning for everybody that attended and it was great to introduce our members at Littleport and Witcham Judo Clubs to Ashley.
“Opportunity to train alongside full time Olympic athletes do not come along very often and it was truly a unique experience for everybody that attended the sessions. “We will all be watching Ashleys progress as he works his way towards the Tokyo games in 2020 and hope to get him back again at the club in the future.”
Following Ashley’s masterclass a small group of judoka spent the afternoon learning from Alec Edwards, 5th Dan from Cambridge, and Dave Horton-Jones, 7th Dan from Norwich.
The group looked at a traditional judo kata ‘Nage No Kata’ which involves a series of 15 judo throws practiced in traditional style.
During the afternoon Alec Edwards was presented with his level 3 kata certificate for his ability in ‘Katame No Kata’ - the judo groundwork kata.
Mr Aldous added: “The afternoon was a great success and will be followed up in January with a day-long course that will also offer kata examination.”
Littleport Judo Club currently meets on Tuesdays at Littleport Leisure Centre from 6pm and Witcham Judo Club meets at Witcham Village Hall from 5pm on Wednesdays.
Visit the club’s Facebook pages for further information.