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  • Writer's pictureRoss Taylor

From root to the fruit - Drake is back!

Greetings everyone!

Its been a long time since i have done a 'report' when we launched i used to publish them with alarming regularity, as we got bigger and busier they started to become less frequent, However I'm determined that as we hopefully approach a post covid way of life i will try to put one out whenever we get some significant piece of news.

That being said this report alone (which only covers the last 7 days) has a large amount of individual news pieces that could easily warrant a dedicated indvidual write-up, but its Monday morning and I'm shattered so one big article it shall be!

The week began on Monday with our committee meeting, to anyone who is still unsure, DJC is run by a committee of players, coaches, parents and volunteers, major decisions are raised, debated and then voted on. As Chair i only get a casting vote and have yet to ever use it. Anyway the reason for the meeting other than usual business was our re-launch which was happening in the week, we also had an update on our latest satellite class(in Bristol!) and all the logistical things which may seem simple but take a lot of preparation work.

Tuesday was a day off (seems like months ago now)

Wednesday was our big relaunch which meant the first session back at the Lifecentre for 18 months, this created quite considerable nerves for me, though i wasn't coaching, it was still very strange to be back 'home' in an enviroment that usually be comfortable as any but this time seemed unfamiliar

As always there were a few little niggles but nothing that could stop the joy of seeing Judo being done again,

Mike took the first class, we had two separate mats and 4 coaches in attendance, slowly but surely the players began to turn up

it was our first session where we launched our 'Great Judogi Trade in' meaning that anyone who had outgrown their old suit during lockdown(virtually everyone) could trade that suit in for a brand new one, DJC have subsidised this to make the return to Judo a little easier in a financial sense.

We also had our new hoodies which again we heavily subsidised for members to buy, they sold like hot cakes and a re-order is now needed

The 2nd class was taken by Gary and Max, seeing Max (the fruit) in club is such a boost and to have him there on our re-launch evening was incredible, He has been working hard up at the centre of excellence making his Senior British debut during lockdown and he and DJC are looking forward to the prospect of him competing in the European and World Juniors later this year

Attendance wise we had 35 players over the course of the evening, with many unable to make the first evening.

Thursday was a long one, well for me anyway as i ventured up the M5 and the M4 to attend our latest satellite class in Bristol, the Bristol arm of our club is run by Gavin Whitfield who is one of the most dynamic coaches in our area, an opportunity arose for us to support him to found his own class and he has certainly started with a bang!

Drake Bristol operates on Wednesday nights and Thursday Nights, Wednesday saw judo delivered to 36 players and Thursday saw 28 players enjoy the sessions, Gavin has some fantastic volunteers working with him including Gemma and Jess among others,

So after seeing Drake Bristol in action it was back down the M5 whilst listening to Romanian funk and eating burger king at 11.30pm (is this standard?)

Friday No rest for the wicked as we re-launched our Tavistock session, this time with Mike taking over coaching duties from Charles, we are still to properly work out the class times in Tavi and we are hopeful within the next few weeks we will be able to offer a dedicated SHO class with Free Judo for 6 months, However for this night, we combined our SHO grades with our Green belts and under. Tavistock is our main base of which we are very proud of, 20 children went away very happy, we continued our Judogi trade in and Hoodie sale, it proved very popular again - Mike was assisted by coach Dave for the evening, with myself in attendance obviously. Good to see Alex, Leo's brother make a return to the tatami and at 15 years old and 6ft 7 he is going to be one to watch!

Saturday Our main Judo day! and I'm now starting to resemble Tutankhamen's Gran and ive got a full 4 hours of coaching to be cracking on with, Saturday sessions are usually run by Corey, who doubles as a Judo wife(ive not been able to find my zori's in months without her help) She wasn't able to make Saturday but makes her triumphant return this week.

Though we have held off from recruiting or advertising that Judo was open to new members we somehow had a number of new starters (7 in total i believe) including dinky 5 year old Lyla(the root)

Massive thanks to coach Dave who jumped on the mat and supported me, The sessions were ok in attendance, we have a lot of people due to return and as previously mentioned have not yet begun to recruit for new members(Drake Bristol showing us the way though!) we had just over 50 players across the 4 sessions

One of our returning players (Tobey) also passed his 2nd Kyu(Blue Belt) grade with flying colours, his techniques were very very on point

Our last session on Saturday is 12.30 -1.30 and is for Green Belt Juniors and above and is a Randori session, no messing just warm up and straight into it, we were missing a lot of players for this session (through various reasons) though we still had a respectable number for a good randori session and one of the things that myself and the whole volunteer force is proud of is the number of higher graded juniors that call DJC their home we are in a position where we have almost 30 junior green belt and above registered Drake players,

This session was made richer by the fact as we had 'The Redruth Girls' join us, all of them fantastic role models and ambassadors for Judo in general, Tecca, Becca and Vita, Sensei Rowann had made the trip it was good to see Sensei Rowann in recovery from illness.

Tecca and Becca are also DJC players and took there chance to nab their hoodies, which Tecca began mentally redesigning around a Drake Redruth concept!!

Across all of our classes during the week(FLO, Plymouth, Tavistock and Bristol) we delivered Judo sessions to 161 players, Horrabridge and Sparkwell will restart after the school holidays

Sunday is fun day right!

now almost moribund (Alan Partridge reference) it was time to jump in the Drakemobile and head to Kingsley School Judo Club for the bounce back into Judo Western Area session, we had Mike, Gary and Gav coaching and 15 of our players from across all of our centres,

Simon put together his usual fab day and a big thankyou to Francis and Mike Newton who were also coaching.

And that was the week! special shout outs to all of our volunteers, coaches and parents without whom we would not be able to do any of the above

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