A group of martial arts fighters from Douglas Judo Club attended a training camp and North-West Area Closed Championship Judo competition in Kendal recently. 

For most of the group this was their first experience of training and competing at the prestigious Kendal Judo Club, following in the footsteps of Olympians, national and international athletes. 

The young squad took part in a residential four-day training camp and embraced the opportunity to visit and train at other clubs in the north west area.  

The less experienced fighters then took part in an invitational competition. The youngest, eight-year-old twins Summer and Freddie Davies, stepped up in their weight groups and ended up against each other in the final, with Summer fighting hard to take the gold and Freddie the silver medal.  

The Manx athletes then joined almost 200 other young people for the North-West Area Closed Championships. 

This was a huge step up for local pair Juliana and Stan Kopacz who have little opportunity in the island to fight people in their own age and weight bands.  

Both used all of their training and strength to make their coach proud, with Juliana coming away with a bronze medal in under-63 Kyu grade women and Stan really impressing with his skills losing a close quarter-final. 

Conor Storey and Kieran Jobson also travelled from the island and worked incredibly hard at the training camp and hope to be ready to step up to an area competition soon. 

Douglas Judo Club wish to thank the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for enabling the trip to happen. The experience was invaluable - it is so important that Manx children are able to compete at a higher level. 

Next step is for the youngers members is a summer camp.