Judo master victorious in national competition

Kevin Pattison won silver and bronze medals at the recent British Open Masters Judo Championships in Kidderminster.

In spectacular fashion, the 32-year-old Killingworth man took bronze in the Masters dan grade before going on to gain silver in the Open Masters dan grade, handsomely winning four fights by a maximum ten-point haul.

His eye-catching performance has brought the ultimate reward – selection for the Great Britain Judo Masters squad.

Masters judo is specifically for sportsmen and women over the age of 30. The Great Britain squad competes in a wide range of events, including the high-profile Commonwealth Games which will be held in Glasgow next year.

Kevin, who has been involved in the sport for more than 15 years, said: “I’m thrilled that I’ve been picked to represent my country. In my teens I had high hopes of turning professional but when that didn’t work out, I went down the coaching route.

“I run the Crawcrook Judo Club in Ryton and I work as a coach at Gateshead College’s Judo Academy, which has fantastic facilities for young people who want to get involved in the sport.”

One of 14 specialist sports academies at the college, the Judo Academy hosts the England ExCell Judo programme which aims to fast-track the development of elite judo players across the North East. 

Lewis Pendleton, sports academy manager at Gateshead College, said: “Kevin has done extremely well and his achievements are an inspiration to all of our aspiring judo professionals. It’s also fantastic that students can see the kinds of sporting careers available to them when they leave and that their options are wide and varying.

“Many of our coaches work with young people and adults at national level and have previously competed at national and international level themselves."

Anyone who is aged between 16 and 19 and studying a full-time course with the college can join the Judo Academy. The coaching programme is delivered by experienced judo coaches – including Kevin – as well as former world, European and Olympic champions.

In a major coup for the college, double Olympic silver medallist and former world judo champion Neil Adams MBE has signed up to deliver bespoke sessions at the Academy for Sport. Previously he was the national coach for Wales and he currently works with the British Judo Association to identify budding judo stars across the country.

Click on the following link for a glimpse of Kevin in action in the British Open Masters Judo Championships: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEZ6wJM8xrc.

For further information on Gateshead College courses, visit www.gateshead.ac.uk or call 0191 490 2246.