Hi Budokanis, As most of you know, for the past 3 years, Nathan and Josh have been on the Olympic qualification journey towards their second Olympic Games selection. In 2016, as 18 and 21 year olds, they were the first siblings to represent Australia at the same Olympic Games (Rio 2016). Josh was also the youngest Australian male Judo Olympian.
- On Tuesday night 1st June, they fly out to their final Olympic qualification event, the Senior World Championships in Budapest Hungary. Josh will compete on Saturday 5th June and Nathan on Sunday 6th June. In the April Club Newsletter I explained why this Olympic cycle has been horrifically difficult in every sense: last minute changes in flights and training base location, extensive COVID testing, no access outside of hotel rooms and training venues, back-to-back competitions in very short periods, illnesses, injury management, interruption to training from quarantine, just to name a few. Costs to Judo Australia have been understandably enormous and funding to support this program has almost dried up, which is unprecedented this close to the Olympic Games, so in addition to the other pressures, the financial pressure on the boys has also been very large.
- Few people could comprehend the resilience and commitment required to persevere and maintain motivation under such adverse conditions, to chip away getting so close to the Olympic qualification zone, but not quite being there yet. Kudos and respect to Nathan and Josh for their commendable and significant efforts to date and the progress made towards their goal. Their results fighting for a medal in the Asian Oceania Continental Championships in Kyrgyzstan is testament to their consistent hard work and potential for podium performances. Nathan is currently ranked #44 and Josh #46 in their respective weight divisions on the world Olympic Qualification list. This means that they have a few positions to make up at this last event which is very possible but also very challenging.
- Although the last block of competitions was subsidised by Judo Australia, the boys had to contribute $7500 between them. The events covered in this block were the Grand Slams in Tel Aviv, Tashkent, Tbilisi and the Asian Oceania Continental in Bishkek between February and April. The cost of the Senior World Championships is not known and funding at this stage has been advised at $2000 each. Costs will be significantly higher. If the boys qualify for the Olympic Games costs for the Senior World Championships will be reimbursed.
- Once the qualification for this Olympic cycle is over and all costs are known, I will be proposing to the club Committee that the club donate an amount to the boys. Judo NSW was approached by the boys for assistance whilst overseas during the last block and disappointingly, they declined - although technically they accepted on the basis that the boys pay back the donation via services to Judo NSW at $30/hour. We found this approach appalling especially given Judo Victoria supported their elite athletes and the boys and Budokan, have contributed greatly to Judo NSW. After the Olympic Games, their campaign continues though to the Commonwealth Games so their expenses will continue.
- With the financial year end fast approaching, the boys' manager is seeking corporate sponsorship; however, to date this has been limited. A sponsor has manufactured “Team Katz” Tee-Shirts which are targeted at club family members and friends and they have been appreciative of the great response received to date.
- There is also another opportunity for club families, in particular those associated with a business that may be seeking a method of leveraging from a tax-deductible donation towards the end of the financial year.
- The purpose of the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF) is to enable donors to claim a tax deduction for donations made to sporting projects that have signed up to fundraise with the ASF. For every donation of $2 or more, the ASF provides a receipt to the donor that they can then use to claim their tax deduction for the donation. Depending on an individual's income bracket, this can be up to half of the total amount of the donation. The ASF control the organisations and projects on their website and keep 5% of all donations.
- Some years ago, I created a project for ASF approval under their “Giving For Grassroots” program. The ASF approved the project and Budokan became a club recognised by the ASF for donations. The Project is called: "Budokan Judo Club Athlete Support for Interstate & International Competitions”. Since inception of this project, we have received a number of generous donations, some for specified uses and others for general Budokan club support.
- Donors can go on the ASF website (at https://sportsfoundation.org.au/), search for the club, and make a donation. If you would like to contribute to the Team Katz Olympic and Commonwealth Games journeys, please follow the process:
Direct link is at https://asf.org.au/projects/budokan-judo-club Or
- Under https://sportsfoundation.org.au, click on “Donate”, then Under "Clubs and Organisations”, click on "Explore Projects”. Click on “Sport Type” and select “Martial Arts”
- Type in “Castle Hill” under the suburb and Budokan will be one of 3 clubs listed.
- Under Budokan, click on “Donate Now” and select the donation amount or insert an alternative figure
- Select “Give Once” and follow the prompts.
- Leave a message stating “For TeamKatz 2021 Olympic and 2022 Commonwealth Games” and also email me at email@example.com, so that we can manage the allocation from the club to the boys. The boys would also be happy to speak with any companies who may be interested in making donations which could attract working together in activities like corporate Judogi patches, speaking appearances, demonstrations.
Please also note that hopefully on Thursday 3rd June between the Junior and Senior sessions, the club will also be making presentations of cheques to all Budokan State Team members who will represent NSW at the 2021 National Championships in less than 2 weeks time. This has been a gesture made each year by the club prior to the Nationals to acknowledge the effort and commitment of the athletes and to support the financial burden on families making the journey to the Nationals. This year each athlete and club official will receive $200.All the best to Nathan and Josh at the Senior World Championships and beyond and to all the club’s athletes competing in the upcoming Nationals. Thanks so much. Rob