Focus Judo Club in Galashiels ended 2018 on a high note and has laid plans to ensure 2019 continues in the same positive fashion.
Two competitions – in November and December – saw seven juniors taking one gold, one silver and five bronze medal positions, as well as senior player Callum Call winning a silver medal and gaining some valuable competitive experience.
After a year of rigorous competing, Lee Kibble, a partner in local firm Kibble Landscaping, finally achieved the ultimate prize for a competitive judoka.
By gaining all his competitive points, he then studied the technical aspects of judo including the traditional judo kata.
On completion of this very difficult technical exam, he was awarded the coveted grade of 1st Dan (Black Belt).
Lee (pictured far right, centre) transitioned into judo after years of playing rugby for Gala RFC, internationally for Scotland 7s and professionally for Border Reivers.
The move from rugby to judo was easy for him and he now has plans to further his knowledge by beginning his training as a judo coach this year.
And to top off 2018, senior club coach Tam Hardie (inset) was awarded the SALSC (Scottish Association of Local Sports Councils) Services to Sports Award at the recent ClubSport award ceremony for Ettrick and Lauderdale
Tam has dedicated 40 years of his life to judo and has given an unprecedented amount of his time and effort to make Focus Judo Club what it is today.
Lee Allan, one of Tam’s assistant coaches, said: “Tam is responsible for coaching hundreds of local kids over the years, including a junior British champion, as well as guiding all his fellow coaches and players through their respective grades.
“He is one in a million when it comes to judo.
“He has made an impression on so many people at the club and deserves this award for his unwavering dedication to judo.”
The new year is also getting off to a good start for the club as it is now just about to begin a new initiative to introduce senior players to the sport.
Starting on Monday, February 4 and titled ‘Beginner to Yellow belt’, the venture will consist of two paid 10-week blocks and will include a free judo kit and one-year judo licence, with terms and conditions applicable.
At the end of the block, the participants will hopefully have gained two grades, taking them to yellow belt.
As well as a substantial saving, this is seen as an invaluable introduction to judo and a great way to begin a healthy path through the New Year.
For more information and contact details, go to www.focusjudo.org and www.facebook.com/focusjudo.