Club shows its mettle with 4 silvers

PUBLISHED: 14:03 13 July 2006 | UPDATED: 11:53 04 May 2010

SILVER medals were won by four Littleport Judo Club members in a competition at UEA Sportspark in Norwich recently. Millie Wheeler started nervously with a loss but improved in later contests to finish second in her group for a silver medal. Harry Welch

SILVER medals were won by four Littleport Judo Club members in a competition at UEA Sportspark in Norwich recently.

Millie Wheeler started nervously with a loss but improved in later contests to finish second in her group for a silver medal.

Harry Welchman and Alex Kathro were in different weight groups but also lost their opening contests. Both boys went on to win the rest of their matches with throws and they finished second in their respective weight groups to claim silver medals.

Danny Wheeler was in good form with three consecutive wins from throws but then met his final opponent who also had won three times.

Both boys were closely matched but Wheeler was caught in a hold from which he could not escape so had to settle for second place and a silver medal.

Two qualified junior referees from the club, Nicholas Johnson and Adam Pickerill, officiated at the competition and gained good experience.

There were also a number of Littleport Judo Club members involved in promotion exams at the event. In the junior section, Anjela Griffiths, produced two convincing wins to improve her grade from sixth mon, yellow belt to eighth mon, orange belt and two tags.

Jordan Colwill won all his three contests and showed good technique to move up from eight mon, orange belt to 11th mon, green belt with two tags.

Andrew Pickerill won two of his three contests and was promoted from 14th mon, to 15th mon, blue belt and three tags.

Three members entered the senior section of the promotion exam. Dan Welchman, won enough contests to gain promotion to seventh kyu, top orange belt. Andy Wheeler entered at ninth kyu yellow belt, won contests with holds and also improved his grade to seventh kyu. Mark Kathro entered at sixth kyu green belt, won all his contests with throws and was promoted to fourth kyu, lower blue belt.

n A week before the UEA Sportspark, Littleport's Andrew Pickerill joined 11 players from Kumo Judo Club to compete at Ede in the Netherlands where, with more than 800 players from neighbouring countries, there was strong European opposition.

Andrew, 13, who made his overseas debut in France in April, was the only English player in the over- 60kg weight category. Despite an early loss in the first contest, Andrew scored against his second opponent, a higher-graded player, but was caught in the last few seconds when he was thrown.

He did well in his next contest, throwing his opponent with a sweeping foot technique which should have ensured a win but the referee did not see the attack and, despite Andrew rolling onto his opponent, gave the score against him.

Andrew was unable to progress to the knockout stage but said afterwards that he had gained valuable experience and hoped to return next year.

Andrew, with a gold medal and two bronze medals in the UK and a fifth place at a French international tournament this year, is keen to continue participating overseas.

He now trains at three judo clubs during the week and is active most weekends at competitions or with his national training schedule.

Participation at national level is expensive and many promising young players cannot compete beyond local level without extra funding. Andrew does have a very supportive family but international participation certainly adds to costs.

On behalf of Andrew, Littleport Judo Club is appealing to local businesses and individuals for sponsorship. Interested parties are invited to contact the secretary, Ros Edwards, on 01553 840573 or write to her at 76 Back Lane, West Winch, King's Lynn. PE33 0LA.

n Littleport Judo Club welcomes new players, young and old, and meets at Littleport Leisure Centre. More information about the Judo Club is available at the Leisure Centre or by ringing one of the coaches on 01553 763973 or 01553 840573.

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