Following an excellent 2015/16 season, UCC Judo continued to impress at the North West Open at the Foyle Arena in Derry last week, with the college collecting two gold medals and two silver medals, as well as one bronze medal and the Men’s Team Trophy.
The event, organised by the British Judo Association, was the 50th iteration of this competition taking place.
UCC enjoyed a number of impressive results, with Aobh O’Shéa setting the standard for gold in upper kyu and gold in u57/63kg. Jack Corbett won gold in middle kyu and bronze in u100kg, Francesco Massardo claimed silver in u66kg Daniel Murphy won silver in Junior Men’s u66 with a bronze in senior men’s u66 and Eric Steffen claimed bronze in u73kg.
The Men’s Team Trophy was also won by Francesco Massardo, Eric Steffen and Jack Corbett for the second year in a row.
Speaking on behalf of these results, UCC Judo Coach David Holmes was ecstatic with the performance in Derry, commenting that “the event established UCC as a serious recognized club, which held its own against other senior clubs in Ireland (North and South). The event was refereed by international established British referees, who commended the level of judo from all of our players. This was a comment which was well received by UCC as we prepare for the All Irelands in two weeks’ time. The journey, although long, was worth it as all players worked hard and any medal earned was against established players.”
Club captain Luke Hickey equally enjoyed these successes, adding, “Unfortunately I missed the competition through injury, but as captain I’m delighted with the results, but also with how our newer club members are improving and showing great dedication to the club. We also had raised 225 Euro for the CUH children’s appeal by holding a self-defence seminar on Monday. So the club continues to go from strength to strength on all fronts.”
In total UCC Judo has had a historic 2016 across all competitions. In February 2016 the club won 28 medals at the Irish Intervarsities at the Foyle Arena, including the title of Best Woman and Men’s Teams at the event as well as the “Best Judoka / Charlie Hegarty Shield” for Andre Bilro Pereira de Araujo. The club was also given the “Southside and District Sports Award” in February 2016.
Attention now turns to the All Ireland’s on the 3rd of December at the Phibblestown Community Centre in Dublin, and the 2017 Intervarsities at the UCD Sports Complex in February at for UCC Judo.