A dozen students from Battlehill Judo Club travelled to the Kettering Sports Arena in Northamptonshire to compete in the British Judo Councils Open National Competition, which attracted almost 500 competitors.
Following some excellent judo and a fantastic weekend, the club returned with a trio of national champions.
Lewis Cave, Maddox Fuller and Joseph Carroll were some of the youngest in their group, competing in the ten to 12-year boys’ u34kg category, but did not make it to the finals.
Siblings Charlie and Ellie Hutton, in the eight to nine-year boys’ u24kg and ten to 12-year girls’ u40kg events, were defeated in the final and returned with silver medals.
Josh McKeown won all of his contests in the pool stage and was defeated in the semi-finals to gain third place and a bronze medal in the 13 to 15-year u60kg category.
Kyle Flannery, moving up to the u66kg 13 to 15-year group fought well but did not reach the finals.
Kieron Hardaker had four hard fights, winning two, in the 13 to 15-year over 73kg event to gain a very well earned third and a bronze.
Leah Anastasi suffered a single defeat in the u70kg senior female black belt category to secure the club’s third silver medal of the day.
Kieran Tweedy, 16, competed in the senior men’s brown belt under 66kg group, and following three hard contests returned with the gold medal and national champion status.
Jenni Francis in the eight to nine-year girls’ u32kg group, was determined to improve on her second place at last year’s event, and after defeating all three of her opponents by Ippon (maximum score) she took the national title and gold medal.
Joe Flaherty secured gold in last year’s national event, and after successfully defending his title, he is now a two-time British national champion in the eight to nine-year boys’ u46kg.
The students from North Tyneside and Northumberland are coached by Shodans Steve Smith, Simon McKenzie and Malcolm Young, who train at Holy Cross RC Primary School in Wallsend on Wednesday and Fridays.
See www.bhjudo.com or call 07803 745184 for further information.