Tuesday 31 July 2012
Young and aspiring judo martial artists were given the opportunity to show off their skills, following the launch of the London Youth Games.
The competition, held at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre recently, saw 27 different boroughs represented by participants known as judoku (young judo members) who all participated in a fun day of competition and coaching.
The Games offer competitive opportunities for young sportsmen of varying abilities and experience and has been a real stepping stone in the careers of international and Olympic athletes in the past.
Tian Sewell-Morgan, an Arsenal fan from Hackney, showed all the hallmarks of a future Olympian, beating off all 26 other boroughs in what was a really high standard of judo.
Having started judo as part of her Satellite Club in Cardinal Pole School, Hackney, Tian has been training weekly and has progressed greatly in the programme.
"My main aim is to go to the Olympics in Rio in 2016
- Tian Sewell-Morgan
Speaking about her win, Tian said "I'm really shy when it comes to things like this but I felt happy and proud of myself. The medal was heavier than it looked and I felt like I deserved because I had trained hard.
"My family, friends and classmates are really supportive of me when it comes to judo and my main aim is to go to the Olympics in Rio in 2016.
"I also give great thanks to Gabor, Josef and Gio for pushing me and developing my skills, technique and strength in mind, soul and body - it sounds clichéd but it's true!"
Ross McKinley, Premier League 4 Sport Coordinator for Arsenal in the Community added: "We are really proud of Tian's achievements in the Youth Games.
"We have aided Hackney in their Youth Games teams in a number of sports, including judo, badminton, hockey and volleyball over the past few years.
"Tian's success shows how partnership working (through local authorities, community clubs and governing bodies) can really benefit our young people. Well done again Tian."
"As a coach we always want some players like Tian who is a really hard-working person and she always has maximum effort at every session," added coach Gabor Szanyi-Nagy. "Before the London Youth Games, she came and trained with the senior class.
"She is a very strong player with great concentration. She is one of the players who is very strongly focused on what I say before her fights."
Since January 2010, Arsenal's Premier League 4 Sport judo programme has been working with the London Judo Club, Capital London Judo Club, British Judo Association and Hackney Council in three boroughs (Islington, Camden and Hackney) to help players progress through the Judo belt system.
With no Premier League 4 Sport national judo competition, the London Youth Games has seen the players face their biggest event as their progress throughout the programme is ultimately put to the test.
It is hoped that Tian's achievement will inspire more young people to take up judo in their local community.
PL4S is a pioneering sports participation programme which was launched in 2009 and is a joint venture between the Premier League, Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust.
It harnesses the nation's love of football to inspire young people to take up the opportunity to sample four Olympic sports - badminton, judo, table tennis and volleyball.
The programme was funded by a £3.8m investment through the Premier League Creating Chances programme in partnership with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
It has inspired more than 39,300 youngsters across the country to try out a new sport and it has proved to be such a success that the Barclays Premier League has committed to another £2m of funding, doubling the number of Olympic sports PL4S works with.