DJC @ The Kent International Championships
This year is flying by isn't it...
Saturday the 30th of June saw a small bunch of our yellow belts head to Gillingham for the 25th annual Kent International Championships(it had existed before that in a different guise)
Most of our players had opted to travel the night before (with an 8.30am weigh in meaning that it would be a very early start otherwise)
Except for me, Ros and Erin who set off at 3.30am to arrive just in time for weigh in!
The Kent International attracts players from all over the world but mainly from the European countries such as Belgium and Holland etc
The standard is always extremely high, with no age banding it can be a very tough day for some players and can also give a realistic view of where a player is in terms of their development, you can win lots of gold medals at the smaller county competitions and then discover the next level is a very large jump!
The Southern Area host the competition and always do a very good job of getting contests started and finished in good order, Western Area Chairman Andy Scott was also present as part of the officials.
Pre-fighting JJ and the Redruth girls we giggling and chatting and it was good to see the Kingsley guys too
Ros and I were mat-side coaching and we were soon called into action as JJ and Erin were both called at the same time.
JJ had a tough group with her first fight against a Welsh Squad member who was a couple of years older and lost this opening contest, As judo tends to do it 'throws' up problems and JJ ended up beating the eventual gold medallist, which meant everybody had beaten everybody else after all the fights were concluded, therefore it went to countback and JJ took a bronze medal
Erin like wise was in a tough group fighting at U40 for the first time, 2 very quick wins were followed by two very long drawn out contests which she just missed out on giving Erin a bronze medal
All the girls groups were concluded in a timely manner and we were then onto the boys
Nate was in a large group of 12 and quietly went about his business getting through to the semi final where he lost a very very close contest which put him back into the Bronze medal final, a patient display from Nate saw him take a very well earned bronze and more invaluable experience
Last up was Charlie who was in a new weight group, Charlie has had a bit of a breakthrough 12 months and has continued his improvement, this competition represented a new level for him and valuable experience, Charlie continued with his usual gusto and took a very well earned 5th place,
With that there was a mad dash for the car-park and heading into the west, always heading west, my temp gauge in the car registered 38 degrees on the M25 and we were very grateful for air con,
Fleet services on the M3 was packed after holdups on the M25 and Charlie ate all my chips
back into Plymouth for 6.30pm and some well earned rest