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Medals for Kin Ryu at the British Schools Championships and Bushido Invitation

Pictured above, some of the medal winners from Sunday's event: Tommy Angus, Josh Brixley, Sean Cumper, Kimberley Davy, Zoe Killick, Beckie Kirkham, Shani Light, Anna O Doherty, David O Doherty, Joseph O Doherty, Jack Thompson, Callum Vittler.

Kin Ryu Judo Club has this week been celebrating after its most successful competitive weekend of recent years. The juniors were in action both Saturday and Sunday but at very different events. The weekend's effort got off to a great start when Zoe Killick became the latest member of the club to win a national medal, taking Bronze at the British Schools National Championships held at K2. This is a prestigious and difficult event and is open to any child under the age of 18 who is still in full time education. Zoe, who attends Ifield Community College, had some tough opposition to get to the medals. She did not get off to the start she had hoped, narrowly losing her first contest, but she was able to put this behind her and went on to beat the rest of the girls in her pool to go into knock-out rounds. Zoe went through this and lost only to the eventual winner, sealing herself both a Bronze medal and place in the 2007 British National Schools Judo Squad. Congratulations Zoe!!

On Sunday, 15 of the club's junior members were up early to compete in Tunbridge Wells at the Class Master Judo Championships. This was a smaller event than the previous day's, but for the players involved, just as tough. The day started well with the youngest boys Sean Cumper, William Miller, Jack Thompson and Joseph O Doherty all fighting in the six to seven year old group. All the boys found themselves in tough groups with some much bigger fighters, but this did not faze them and their determination to win was rewarded with well-deserved Bronzes for Sean, William and Jack and Silver for Joseph. Joseph and William were then awarded the Spirit of Judo award in their category - for their determination and sportsmanship.

The eight and nine year old boys were next. Fighting in this section was David O Doherty, Zac Dowding, Tommy Angus and Josh Brixley. For Josh this was his first event; he showed no signs of nerves, beating his final opponent by ippon (full ten point score) with a well executed throw, therefore earning him the Bronze medal in his group. Zac and Tommy had to fight one another in the same group. This was a well-matched group with some tough matches but both boys fought well and took the Bronze and Gold in their group respectively. Zac was then awarded the Spirit of Judo award in his group after demonstrating some excellent skill and sportsmanship. David then rounded off this section with a great demonstration of some very proficient throws and was unlucky not to take the Gold in his group, narrowly losing to the eventual group winner to take Silver.

Finishing the boys' section was Callum Vittler. Callum found himself the lowest grade in his group but this did not dissuade him and all his hard training was rewarded with a well-deserved Silver medal. Then it was onto the girls and after an excellent start to the day, there was a lot to live up to but the girls did themselves proud with an excellent display of talent and ability. First to fight was the youngest girls Kimberley Davy and Elena Angus in the seven to eight year old section. For both girls there were going to be some tough fights but both fought well to win Silver and Bronze in their groups respectively.

The older girls then followed all fighting at the same time on all three mats. Beckie Kirkham and Anna O Doherty fought together in their group and both were determined to win! Both showed some of their best Judo to take Bronzes in their group. On the mat next to them, Shani Light was competing in her group. This was a tough group with some very experienced players, but Shani fought hard and came away with a well-deserved Silver medal. Last to fight was Zoe Killick who fresh from the previous day's competition was determined to make it a double! Zoe had some very tough fights and it was clear that she was tired from the previous day's event, but she came through for Silver. Zoe was then awarded the spirit of Judo award for her group taking her medal count from two to three, which is an impressive achievement in two days! Junior competitions coach Lisa Harrison said, "The club's medal count for this weekend has been great. Every player has been training hard, and are reaping the rewards for it. I am extremely proud of the way these young judoka have fought, and the club is looking forward to the next event!"