A group of Manx judoka recently travelled off-island for the third annual Richard Lloyd Memorial Competition, held at SKK Judo Club in Newton-le-Willows.  

Richard was a well-known judo coach and official both in the island and in the north west of England, and the event is well attended.  

Isle of Man (Southern) Judo Club, which he used to run, have entered players since its inauguration in 2022.  

Being aimed as a development event, there were a number of players making their competitive debuts in addition to some of the younger members who have competed at it before.  

Debutant Leo Tickle performed exceptionally well in a pool containing heavier and more experienced players, demonstrating some good techniques to secure gold.  

This was followed by fellow beginners Griffin Parker Beechinor claiming silver and James Birchall receiving bronze after some tough contests.  

Also claiming gold was Jole Kennaugh who is gaining more competitive experience, having also attended the Liverpool Open and British Schools events recently.  

This experience is starting to show on the mat, with a quick tani-otoshi victory in his first contest and his final bout saw some excellent tactical decisions when a score up to win the gold medal.  

In the younger ages, Leon West was close to claiming his first gold but had to settle for silver after some excellent ko-uchi-gak techniques. Noah Hughes, Ryan Cadamy and Daniel Tickle have had experience at this competition before and all competed well to claim bronzes.  

First of the females to compete was debutant Lainie Savage. Showing some techniques usually reserved for higher graded players, she claimed bronze by virtue of her yoko-wakare throw.  

Lainie was also offered the opportunity of more contests against higher-graded players and the decision to accept proved beneficial, as she won a number of contests to secure her second bronze of the day.  

Last but by no means least was senior female debutant Sophie Macdonald. Again finding herself in a group with a mix of grades, she showed great resilience to bounce back in her final contest to throw her opponent within the first 10 seconds for the maximum ippon score and claim the club’s third silver of the day.  

Reflecting on the day’s events, head coach Chris Horton said: ‘We are very pleased with everyone’s medals that they earned.  

‘For a lot of them, it was their first experience of competitive judo and they showed great character and resilience to bounce back from any disappointment to keep going during the competition.  

‘These players have great potential to do well if they continue their progress.’ 

- Isle of Man (Southern) Judo Club is based at Arbory Parish Hall, Ballabeg, and would like to thank Manx Electrical Services for sponsoring their judo back patches, Bon Fabrics for the sewing of them onto their kit and MC Locksmiths for the team t-shirts.  

 If anyone is interested in taking judo, contact the club on Facebook or Chris on 426593 for a free beginner’s session.