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  • Ross Taylor

Why I love Judo - by Andy Hay aged 42 and a quarter


I didn't realise I loved judo until Lottie started to really express herself through it, becoming more obsessed with the sport every time she practiced or competed. Watching her and her friends embark on their judo journey has been one of the most inspirational experiences I've ever had; from attendance at their first competition through their steps on the grading system; overcoming fears about legs away Ukemi to facing particular judoka in randori. Real "life lesson" stuff! Lottie's medal from the Rudolph Rumble will stick with me forever, not for the bling (although I'd be lying if I didn't feel super proud of the gold!), but because of the way she put into place all the lessons she'd learned, picked herself up after losing her first contest, tried her hardest, conquered her nerves and showed real compassion after one of her opponents ended in tears. In that one moment, she was an example of all that's best in sport. If we adults can demonstrate just a small portion of that same spirit in our everyday big people world; then the world will be a very different place. Ross' and Charles' enthusiasm is catching too, as I've now been inspired to restart my own personal judo journey after a 30 year "sabbatical", as well as helping support the formative start of Drake Judo Club in whatever small way I can. I am excited to see where the judo journey will take Lottie, me and all of the judoka at Drake Judo Club


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