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  • Writer's pictureRoss Taylor

DJC Presentation Evening 2017

Saturday December the 9th saw Drake Judo Club hold its 2nd annual presentation evening.

This was an opportunity for the entire club to come together and celebrate our achievements over the last 12 months and also a chance to let our hair down and have a bit of a party!

As last year, our host venue was the directors lounge at Plymouth Argyle Football Club and as usual they were very helpful, sadly however we have outgrown the venue and will need to source somewhere else for 2018 but for this night it was perfect.

Everyone seated and ready to go!

The evening started at 6pm with the first of our committee members arriving to assist with set up, by 6.30 lots of our members and their families had started to arrive and the trophies that some of our members would be taking home were unveiled. After the presentations we had a raffle where the takings will go to a specific project within DJC which we will hopefully tell you more about in the new year. The raffle was organised by DJC Volunteer Co-Ordinator Tony Murphy who had out done himself again with over 100 prizes on offer including a £100 Tesco voucher, 5 Panto tickets and a 4.5kg Chocolate Santa! - after this everyone enjoyed the wine and song including some striking dance moves from some of our committee members.

But back to the Awards.

Ross & Head Coach Mike got us underway as anyone who trained at DJC and held a license was given a Drake Team Trophy and a certificate, Mike presented each and every one of these to the almost 60 juniors we had in attendance.

Moving swiftly on we announced the winners of our 'Spirit of Judo' awards, these are given in recognition of a members' overall attitude and effort when either training with or representing DJC.

The following players received Spirit of Judo Awards;

George Bettey - Always smiling, always trying his very best and a lovely lad too.

Guilia Baiz - Always smiling, always having to fight bigger people, never complains, will always say thank you to coaches, WA Closed Champion 2017.

Cafan Phillipson - has really worked hard this year, was a contender for most improved too, great work ethic and friendly chap too.

Angus Black - lovely personable chap, eager to learn, polite, respectful and resonded to a defeat at competition with a great attitude.

We moved swiftly on to our next category and the following players received Most Improved Player Awards;

Lucy Knape - Lucy has had a really stand out year as 2016 didn't see much action from her in terms of training or competition. Yet in 2017 she worked very hard to improve her Judo and train on a regular basis, she ended up with a National Bronze and a WA Schools Bronze too.

Reuben Taylor - Reuben is part of our Gen3 group of players and will start competing next year, he has in the last 12 months transformed from a shy boy into a competent all round Judo player and has a wonderful technical base and fantastic fundamental movement

all of our trophies and Champion hoodies

Our next category had a bit of magic to it as one male and one female player would be awarded

''The Chris Child Award'' - this recognises overall improvement over the last 12 months. As you all know Chris is our Vice-President and is an extremely decorated ex British International, being one of the first females to compete on an international circuit.

Christine very kindly donated two of her old trophies that she won on the continent and had them re-engraved for this, now annual, award.

''The Chris Child Award'' was presented to;

Male: Allan Tercjak - Alan, having started the year as a novice, has worked so hard to try and fast-track himself to the level of his peers who have a lot more experience. He has used his incredible physical strength and combined this with an array of techniques which are still developing, a very respectful Judoka but with a desire to achieve - all the attributes that Chris herself has.

Female: Maria 'La Toro' Oram-Perez

Maria arrived at DJC like a bit of a whirlwind in 2017 and has far exceeded any expectations for someone with no previous experience. Only time in grade stopped her competing at the national championships, taking gold in virtually all the competitions she has entered including the WA School Championships and Silver at the WA closed (losing only to the National Champion). Incredibly strong and unrivalled in physical fitness, Maria is a worthy winner of this trophy.

All eager and waiting

After this we moved onto the Performance of the Year Award,

2 awards were presented;

Florence Montgomery-Melville - Flo as she is know to her friends, is a smiling, friendly young girl who could easily get lost amongst various other players in a judo club or competition. What marks her out is her unbelievable desire to win, evidenced when she fought in Truro at the first Team competition that DJC had entered and kept finding a way to win all the way to the gold, even at points being almost faint from exhaustion and effort.

Nathaniel Morgan - Nate has been a bit of a caged animal for the last 2 years or so, desperately counting down the days until he turned 8, which coincided with the Devon Low Grades in November. Nate won all of his 5 contests via Ippon including some players who were 2 years older and 6 grades higher! All in his official contest debut.

Finally we finished with the Junior boy and Junior Girl of the year, who get awarded the fabled 'Green Hoody' only permitted to be worn by winners or previous winners of this award.

Junior Boy of the Year 2017 - Bogdan Losonczi

Junior Boy & Girl 2017

Bogdan has had a year to remember at DJC becoming Devon Champion, Western Area Champion, WA Schools Champion, bronze medalist BJC National Championships and bronze medalist BJA National Championships. More importantly he has been somewhat of a role model for his teammates always encouraging them and supporting them. He has been to most training sessions and all of our squad excursions, he has filled in for Jack on many occasions as our de-facto Captain, his conduct in previous years(on the mat) has been average, this year it has been exemplary.

Junior Girl of the Year 2017 - Charlotte Hay

The girls award as last year proved to be one of the hardest to decide, DJC is blessed to have some of the finest up and coming female players in the area and last years award winner Alanna would have been a worthy champion this year too. As it was only one person can win the title and this year's award went to Lottie who has worked tirelessly to improve her judo (very successfully). She attended virtually all the sessions we had on offer and entered all of the big competitions medalling in virtually all of them including, the Devon Championships, the WA championships and the BJC National Championships. She has attended and supported, along with Reuben, the Tavi College school class. Her gradings have been flawless and she has a burning desire to ask questions and improve her performances and her skills, a very worth winner of this award.

Following this we move on to our awards for senior players

Most Improved Senior was awarded to

Dariusz 'Derek' Tercjak - Derek has this year been one of our most consistent senior players. He has won gold in all the competitions he has entered and has even thrown a few black belts whilst himself only being a novice (he has had some other martial arts experience). He has supported Monday nights and been along to our Friday senior sessions too. Away from the mat he has been working on his strength and conditioning training and supporting Allan and Daisy with their Judo too. A very worthy winner.

Senior Player of the Year was awarded to

Ros Hopkins - a bit of a shut out this year as Ros made her return to competition after a 15 year absence to first of all become Area Champion and then British Champion! Being selected for the British Masters Squad gave her an amazing return from 2017, DJC's first national champion. Away from the competition mat, Ros has continued her role as SHO grade examiner with a record amount of under 8's training at DJC, she has become assistant coach for Devon county, helping to organise sessions and teams, she also became a BJA contest recorder enabling DJC to run our own competitions next year and as ever been a constant volunteer presence - a shut out of this award in 2017.

We then moved on to our special presentations, first up was the 'President's Award' - presented by DJC President Allan Perry, the President's Award is new this year but represents the most committed judo player at DJC the player who has attended the most training sessions in a calendar year (this is why we take registers people so make sure your name is taken down in 2018!). This year's winner has attended virtually every training session we have held including being the only player to attend all 3 main locations (Tavistock, Plymouth and Ashburton) he has also been away on all the squad trips and the socials and often assists with the primary class on a Saturday. The winner of the 2017 Presidents Award was Jake Brown.

Our last special presentation was the 'Chairman's Commendation Award' presented by DJC Chairman Ross Taylor - this award is to recognise someone who has made a special contribution to DJC. This year the award was presented to recognise the achievements of development which included our expansions into schools and universities, being recognised nationally of a particular standard via the Clubmark award and overall all the time, preparation and effort that went into this. DJC has significantly grown in 2017 thanks to all our wonderful volunteers and development has been at the heart of that. The winner of the 2017 Chairmans Commendation Award was DJC Development Officer Andy Hay

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