Sanja O'Donohue, affectionately known as 'The Lady of Judo' in the Hunter, recently won both the NSW State Title and The ACT International Open in the Senior Women’s over 78kg division, taking top honours for the Hunter Region.
"The ACT International Open is second only to the Australian Judo Titles in terms of National Ranking and competition size" said Sensei Ken McKenzie, chief instructor of Samurai Judo Academy and Sanja's coach.
Under the guidance of Sensei McKenzie, who himself has represents NSW and has held numerous international titles, Sanja has trained harder and harder since starting judo in mid 2011.
“With Sanja’s aptitude, athletic abilities and determination to achieve her potential, I believe she can become one of Australia’s most successful judo players” said Sensei McKenzie. “It is a hard road, but Olympic representation is certainly on the cards”
“Judo is great for women and girls” Sanja said “It motivates you to train because you are doing a sport and learning self-defence skills instead of just exercising…and the boys are great to train with because you are pushed to improve, but they take care of you.”
O’Donohue now hopes to represent Australia at the Ocean Judo Union (OJU) Championships in Cairns on April 13th and 14th. “The OJU Championships is a selection event for World Titles representation in the Pacific Region” said Sensei McKenzie “This is what Sanja has been working towards, and I believe she can do us proud”