Sweeping up at the 2016 Intervarsites
This weekend, 15 competitors from our club traveled up to Derry to compete in the Judo Intervarsities. Our mission was simple to win both the Men’s and Women’s team trophies after both our teams came Second last year. When we arrived, we discovered to our delight that we were the largest team there especially after travelling the furthest distance.
Our Women’s A-Team competed against University Ulster and beat them 2-1 to claim the trophy with our Captain Katie O’Donovan defeating her opponent despite her being a lower belt. Our Women’s B-Team also fought well and claimed Bronze.
Our Men’s Teams fought fantastically against 6 other teams. Unfortunately, our B-Team came up a strong Queen’s team and were knocked out. While our A-Team came across DIT, NUIG B and inevitably NUIG A. NUIG A had defeated our team last year in the Men’s Final with a 4-0 defeat, thus we were determined to beat them. Our A-Team triumphed against NUIG and won 4-1 after a serious of tough fights. Thus both our Men’s and Women’s Team claimed Gold for the first time.
With this strong start, our members rose to each challenge and eventually won 26 medals. There were excellent wins throughout the day such as Aobh O’Shea winning the U57 final with a strong Kesa Gatame or Luke Hickey’s beautiful Ura Nage in the Men’s Team Final.
Unfortunately, due to our number of competitors inevitably our members had to fight each other such as the Men’s Open when Andre and Tim had to fight for a Bronze Medal.
Not to mention the strength of character and camaraderie among everyone such as Ciara Gildea despite an injury continued fighting in her category which had 3 black belts. Additionally, Andre who won the coveted Spirit of Judo Award for his constant determination to keep going despite a series of fights.
Lastly, we would like to thank David Holmes for his coaching throughout the year and University Ulster for hosting such a wonderful competition. Here’s hoping we can beat our record next year 🙂