Last year for the second year in a row, Budokan athletes won 5 of the 10 individual award categories and 4 more of our athletes won awards in Special Needs, Kata and NSW State Coach nominated awards. Budokan also won the NSW Club of the Year for the fifth year in a row. This year, club award categories changed significantly and volunteer and coach awards were introduced. Prior to the Awards Night, Judo NSW released the list of 10 finalists in each of the 10 individual awards, those being best male and female athletes in the 5 competition age categories. Of the 100 finalists, 25 Budokan athletes were listed, exactly ¼ of all NSW nominations, quite an achievement for one of over 80 NSW clubs and more than any other NSW club.5 more Budokan members were nominated in the State Coaches and Kata Awards. During the Judo NSW Awards Night, 4 of the 10 category winners went to Budokan members and 3 more won Kata awards.Budokan Judo Club was also a finalist in the "Performance Club of the Year" award and Kerrye and Rob were finalists in the "Talent Coach of the Year" award.Although it was disappointing that we didn't win either of these last 2 awards, we are proud to say that the club has performed exceptionally well this year and this is really all the reward that we need. All our athletes and parents need to understand that these events are not just about winning awards - winning awards does not define who you are, or your ability, or the value of your achievements or your potential; the same can be said for not winning an award. Your reward is in both the effort you put in to meet the challenge, and the progress you make to reach your goal. As far as the Judo NSW club and coach awards go, recognition and reward came for for Kerrye and I from these (amongst other) events:
- Sport NSW Awards. Budokan was named as a finalist in the Community Club category of the 2019 NSW Community Sports Awards, an event capturing all NSW clubs in all NSW sports.
- Nationals Participation & Results. The club's participation at the 2019 Nationals was up 20% and our medal tally was up 15% on last year. In the 9 major National and Open competitions held this year, our athletes contested 25% more divisions than last year and our medal tally and number of Gold medals at these events was also up by 25%.
- International Results. Our 4 international athletes had their best results ever. They contested 29 international events including 4 World Championship selections; with Top 16 results at Senior Worlds, 4 Grand Slams and the Asia Pacific Continental Championships, 5th and 7th placings in Grand Prix events, 5th in Junior Asia Pacific Continentals, 7th and 9th in Cadet European Cups, Gold and Bronze in Cadet Oceania Open and Gold and 5th in Junior Oceania Open. Details of the results of our international athletes will be covered later.
These are all great achievements and the result of a consistently huge effort by all the club's coaches, Committee members, volunteers, and in particular all the athletes who do all the hard work on the mat.Two weeks ago at the NSW State Black Belt Grading, Saskia Brothers satisfied the requirements for promotion to 1st Dan. Bjorn Tandean (who is currently training in Japan) was also graded to 1st Dan earlier this year. Congratulations to Saskia and Bjorn on your promotions to Black Belt during 2019.We see 7 reasons which make this club, your club, so special:1) Our Growth. We hit an all-time high of 191 members earlier this year and our numbers on the mat in every class remain consistently high. With very little marketing, we continue to see many new people coming through the door wanting to try Judo. There must be a reason for this.2) Our membership. Is as diverse as there are techniques in Judo. Ranging in age from 3 years to 79 years from our pre-school Dinos, to numerous State Team members, Veteran athletes, parents of Juniors, "No Limits" athletes, elite National Team members, Kata competitors, referees, coaches, and an amazing group of State volunteers.3) Our Culture. We are an incredibly tight family-oriented group who travel together and who look after each other. We have our branded merchandise, we run State competitions, we do a lot of fundraising and we run social events, but the club culture is far deeper on the mat. Our Seniors support our Juniors both at their sessions and at competitions and in turn, our Juniors support our Dinos and MONS groups. This support accelerates the development of our athletes and provides an active mentoring and "team" culture in the club for which we are very proud.4) Our high level of participation in competition. This is acknowledged by Judo Australia and Judo NSW. 1/3 of our eligible membership participate in competition and this year we made up ¼ of the NSW Team to the 2019 Nationals despite there being 58 NSW clubs5) We sponsor our committed and talented athletes. This includes financial support to the Nationals, sponsoring the training for our AWE-categorised Seniors, running elite athlete sessions, sponsoring athletes with strength and conditioning programs and gym access, and by setting up unique opportunities like the 3 week Junior Japan training trip that Kerrye will be heading with 9 of our most accomplished 10-14 year old Juniors.6) Very importantly, we acknowledge participation and reward effort and achievement This is done through all of our behaviours and in all of our communications; for example, through our newsletters and website, through events like our post-Nationals presentation and tonight's Annual Awards Night. Tonight not only acknowledges results but also spirit, improvement, participation, skill in grading and service to Judo and to the club7) Our Coaching Team. Kerrye and I can't say enough about the support we have received from our main coaches Dale and Jarrad. We are also very grateful to our assistant and support coaches on the mat: Cathy Roach, Andras Koltai, Lubo Petr, Chang Woo, Dieter Riechert, Daniel Kennedy, Neal Conti, Scott Young, Zach Colman, Phoenix Edwards, Will and Max Zollinger, Neal Conti, and Ali McPherson. Thanks also to Cameron Leishman who has filled in for me on some Senior sessions.These are the reasons why we believe Budokan is such a special and unique club and why we have happy and successful athletes.For a complete description of our achievenents for 2019, read the attachment below.