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  • Writer's pictureRoss Taylor

Drake Judo Club appoints former Double European Champion Christine Gallie 7th Dan as Honorary Vice P

Drake Judo Club is delighted to announce that Christine Gallie(nee Child) 7th Dan has been appointed as Honorary Vice President, Also her husband Peter has been given Lifetime Honorary Membership

Christine has been appointed to the role in recognition of her achievements nationally and internationally in competition but also to the significant contribution she and a small group of other young women made so that Women and Girls have the same opportunity today as the Men and boys in competitive Judo

Christine began judo at the age of 15 in her village which was near High Wycombe reaching her 1st Kyu and being graded by then National Coach Geoff Gleeson, As was the case in the late 60's you needed to train at the Budokwai in London if you wanted to progress further and this is what Christine duly did. Here she met such icons as the father of British Judo Gunji Koizumi and British Judo legend Trevor Leggett and at the time highest non Japanese graded judoka in the world, Her coach, teacher and friend during this period was former IJF President and 10th Dan Charles Palmer(himself a lifelong member of the Budokwai) also during this period she became the first woman to train with the men's class and often practiced with among others Syd Hoare, Tony Sweeney, Angelo Parisi and Drakes Honorary President 'Superstar' Brian Jacks!

Chris and Brian on the front page of the observer magazine 1974
Brian tries his hand or foot at Karate, Chris is 5ft 10!

Chris won many many titles in her competitive career including but not exclusively

National Kata Champion

National Teams Champion

British Champion x 6

International Swiss Cup(Gold)

Italian Open(Gold)

German Open(Gold)

Best Female Player of the Year

European Champion x 2

Brian Jacks once said ''Chris was the innovator of women's competition judo'' - high praise indeed

Christine retired from competition in 1975 but would go on to become a senior examiner, Budokwai Ladies Instructor, British Ladies Team Coach and Assistant General Secretary of the BJA

On top of this Chris entered the world of acting(under the name Cyd Child) becoming the stunt double for Diana Rigg on the 'Avengers' and fight coordinator on 'The New Avengers' coupled with being Joanna Lumley's personal trainer!

In this scene in the Avengers episode 'The Living Dead' Mrs Peel (played by Chris!) picks up a prison guard and dumps him with Kata Guruma! the TV press thought this was trick photography!

Christine later married Peter and had a family, moving to Devon almost 25 years ago where she ended up coaching our own Ros Hopkins

Drake Chairman Ross Taylor said:-

''It is fantastic that Drake Judo Club can have someone as significant as Christine as part of our club, Christine was a pioneer not only for women's judo in the UK but across the entire world, she began training in a time when women's judo was not really taken that seriously by the Judo establishment, She changed that, I know all of our junior girls and boys will be inspired to see through Chris that you can achieve whatever you want to if you apply yourself and put in the hard work which she did, it is truly an honour for us

I'm also delighted that her husband Peter has joined us as an honorary lifetime member, Peter is a Budokwai boy through and through and was their social secretary for many years, he was part of some of the legendary Budokwai teams of the 1960's and 70's he has some fantastic stories''

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