May 1 2022
Seventeen of SR’s more experienced players headed to Kettering last week for one of the biggest events in the Judo calendar, returning from the BJC Open Nationals with ten medals, including three national champions.
In the primary category (ages 8-9), Jenson Crutchley was SR’s first medallist of the day and set the bar high as he took the national title and a gold medal in the 16-24kg category. Following Jenson’s success, Theo Painter then went on to return with a bronze in the 24-27kg and Harry Waterfield was very unlucky to leave empty-handed in the 27-30kg category. In the boys 27-30kg, Ricco Crowie-McGrath fought his way to a well deserved gold medal, a feat repeated in the 30-34kg by Riley Russell, both returning as national champions. In the girls, Phoebe Waterfield pulled off some great technique, and took a well earned silver medal in the 28-32kg. Darcey Chamberlain and Elsie Lindsey both put in valiant efforts in their first ever nationals, but were unfortunate not to take medals in the 28-32kg and 32-36kg respectively.
The juniors (aged 10-16) were the next onto the mat and Fabian Crowie-Mcgrath was SR’s first competitor. Fighting in the 30-34kg category, he couldn’t quite manage to break through the pools stage in a large, tough group. Curtis Thompson, in his first ever national event showed some fantastic judo to take home the silver medal in the 38-42kg. Noah Chamberlain and Will Neville both faced very tough competition in 42-46kg and 55-60kg, but both returned without medals despite their brave efforts. In the girls, Lyla Painter was unable to place in the 36-40kg category, whereby Eliza Seditas battled her way to a bronze medal in the 40-44kg. Almirah Edwards also took a bronze as she overcame tough opposition in the 52-57kg and Ruby Gimson was the silver medalist in another tough group in the 56-61kg.
Oliver Hollis, competing in his first senior Nationals battled his way to a very hard-fought bronze medal.
Club sensei, Lea Barkby commented ‘I’m so proud of every single one of them - they gave everything they had and we can ask no more. There’s been some lessons learnt and valuable experience gained for the next event.’