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12-Apr-2009   -   Samurai Judo Academy host biggest Newcastle competition ever
Members of Samurai Judo Academy management committee recently hosted the largest competition ever held in Newcastle, the 2nd NSW State Judo Team Selections, (Hunter Valley Open) on Sunday 15 February 2009.

Almost 150 competitors and hundreds of spectators filled the world class Stadium at Newcastle University's Sports & Aquatic Centre to view a spectacular display of quality judo. With 3 full competition areas, grand-stand seating and 3 Full size monitors using the latest Score Judo digital scoring system, the event was heralded as a smashing success.

Hard working Tournament Organizing Committee members from SJA provided a BBQ all day, lucky door prizes and a relatively smooth event, despite facing many logistic challenges. The day was not without hiccups. However, feedback from many clubs was that it was "the best event ever"....not a bad result for the first attempt at an event of this size outside of Sydney!

The Tournament Organizing Committee would like to give special thanks to the following people, without whom the event would not have been such as success:

Judith Culley, Peter Culley and Dean Ward who provided transport of mats to and from the venue from as far as the central coast

John Blishon, Maitland PCYC instructor for providing mats and running the U10 and U13yr warm up and randori sessions

All members of SJA who spent many hours moving what amounted to more than 6000kg of mats over 4 days!, particularly Liam Bruckdorfer, Nimble Collyer, Jacob Maurer, Kenji Sato and Harry Chalker who put in the extra mile without complaint

Judith Culley, SJA Snr Adminstration Official for managing the entry table, lucky door prize, officials food/beverage and many other tasks throughout the day
The fabulous referees who, once again, handled the day with professional style

Each and every volunteer but particularly Kerrye Katz for making up draws, Charlie Laidlaw, Cliff Illingworth, Jim Black, Garry Zimmerman and Dennis Boyd for managing scoring

The 1 and only Kas Pilarski, Tournament Director extrordenairre!

Once again, Samurai Judo Academy members , along with chief instructor Ken McKenzie performed well, with no less than 12 competitors in line to qualify for the NSW State Team.

The 2009 Hunter Valley Open, 2nd NSW State Selections has laid the foundations for Newcastle to continue to grow towards itís goal of becoming a world leader in judo and set the scene for what is to come. We look forward to hosting regular events and invite all serious judo students and coaches to join us in making Newcastle a popular venue for future major tournaments in judo.

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