Hackney hosts inaugural judo event at Petchey Academy

Petchey Academy judo

Petchey Academy judo - Credit: Archant

Hackney’s Petchey Academy became the fulcrum for judo enthusiasts at the weekend as it hosted a landmark event dedicated to the martial art form.

The occasion was the first time the borough had held a judo event management course and competition and over two days welcomed a host of girls and boys from Essex and east London.

Participants attended from local clubs and schools, adding a friendly rivalry to the frenzied atmosphere, and Wayne Melville, of the Community Judo Project, believed the end results were well worth the exertions of running the inaugural event.

“Fitting all of this into a weekend was a lot of work,” said Melville. “We could not have done it without all the support we had and we are very proud of what we achieved.

“We now have a number of trained young people and those that choose to excel will progress as technical officials and will be invited to larger events.”

Director of officials, Sharon Cottis, who had been part of the judo event team at London 2012, brought her expertise to the course, which provided competitors with a recognised qualification.

Cottis oversaw the theory element on the Saturday, which can be used towards GCSE PE, and Darren Pilbro, of The Petchey Academy, Shacklewell Lane, was delighted with the community benefits of participants putting their new skills into practice in Sunday’s competition.

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“It was great to see judo events bring the community into the school,” said Pilbro.

“We saw parents and siblings come to support the competitors and because the event was local we had grandparents make the effort to visit.

“This recognition is great for the young people.”