Mum's the word at Kumo Judo Club
Kumo Judo Club, based at Lopham, has added a new demographic to its talented ranks by introducing a class for mums. The flourishing club, which nurtured the talent of British star Colin Oates onto the world stage, now has mothers training alongside their daughters.
Kumo Judo Club, based at Lopham, has added a new demographic to its talented ranks by introducing a class for mums.
The flourishing club, which nurtured the talent of British star Colin Oates onto the world stage, now has mothers training alongside their daughters.
Club coach Howard Oates, father of Colin and highly-regarded British Judo coach David, introduced the class after the club's latest additions expressed an interest in following their children onto the mat.
'We had players from the local school training and their mums were watching and said they'd like to try the sport in their own class,' he said. 'After a slow start we now have between 10 and 14 women on the mat, working alongside their daughters.'
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Howard believes the sport's technical scheme has enticed the club's latest additions to step onto the mat. Since April 2008 the British Judo Association's grading system no longer requires a player to compete in order to achieve their next grade, with a theoretical approach now favoured.
'The main reason they're maintaining their interest is down to the theoretical grading system,' he said. 'I have been able to give them a goal - I can tell them that they can go all the way up to Dan grade without having to fight people. I keep the sessions gentle and totally theoretical, which has produced results. After only five months in the sport we had five red belt gradings in April.'
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Howard, a widely respected 3rd Dan, believes the class could accommodate more numbers on the mat and thinks the children are the key to retaining them. 'Numbers wise we can accommodate another six or seven on the mat and their interest grows through the children.
'The women can see a marked improvement in their fitness and they feel better for engaging in a safe but challenging sport.'
Kumo Judo Club train at Lopham Village Hall. Juniors on a Monday at 6.45-7.45pm and Wednesday at 6-7pm. Seniors train on a Monday at 7:45-9pm and Wednesday 8-9pm.Women and girls train on Wednesdays 7-8.