Judo championship wins at double for Borders youngsters

Borders-based martial arts school Sportif Judo has followed up picking up the most medals at the sport’s Scottish championships last month by doing likewise at its British championships, held south of the border in Sheffield over two weekends.

By Darin Hutson
Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 6:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 6:46 pm
Sportif Judo competitors at the Scottish championships in Largs last month
Sportif Judo competitors at the Scottish championships in Largs last month

Sportif Judo entrants – including Borderers Luke Thomson, his sister Maia, Katy Cameron and Imogen McRitchie, all Earlston High School pupils – won 14 medals in total at the British event.

Luke Thomson, 16, of Gattonside, was a winner at the double, going for gold in the under-21 category and bronze in the under-16 class.

His sister Maia, 13, also of Gattonside, brought a bronze medal back to the Borders, as did Cameron, of St Boswells, and McRitchie, of Lauder.

Gattonside's Luke Thomson, second from left, at judo's British championships in Sheffield this month

Those latest successes came a month after a 49-strong Sportif Judo team topped the medal table for the 15th year in a row at the Scottish championships at the Sportscotland National Centre at Largs in North Ayrshire, amassing 10 golds, 11 silvers and 11 bronzes.

The two Thomsons were among the Borders school’s winners there too, along with Cameron.

Luke Thomson picked up golds that time round in his own under-16 age band and also in the seniors’ event.

Cameron won a gold too and Maia Thomson earned herself a silver.

Maia Thomson, left, and Katy Cameron, right, with Sportif Judo Scottish team member Hannah Wood in Largs

Sportif Judo director Preeti Gardiner applauded her school’s competitors on their successes twice in the space of just over a month to round off 2021, saying: “We would like to thank all the players, parents and coaches for their commitment and hard work throughout the year and special thanks to the Active Schools programme in the Borders for their continued support.

“This is an amazing achievement after a difficult year for everyone.

“The commitment, hard work and positive attitude shown by all involved have been outstanding and paid dividends at both championships.

“Throughout the coronavirus lockdowns, our talent group took part in weekly Zoom classes, outdoor conditioning classes, running programmes and inter-club challenges.”

The Stow-based school runs classes in Kelso, Lauder, Peebles and also East Lothian. For details, go to www.sportifjudo.com