Club prepares to welcome sporting legend for session

Brian Jacks in his heyday
Brian Jacks in his heyday

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HE WAS Great Britain’s first Olympic medalist in judo, and a household name in the sport.

Now, Brian Jacks is making his way down to Gosport to teach aspiring judo youngsters the secrets to his success.

Holbrook Judo Club will be welcoming Brian on Sunday, October 15, when they will gather at Brune Park Community School in Military Road from 10am-1pm.

Paul Vella from Holbrook Judo Club says that everyone who trains at the club knows just how significant this visit will be.

He said: ‘He was the first British player to step on to the judo mat and our 
first Olympic medalist in the sport.

‘Back in the 1970s and 1980s he was the top player in the UK – and you would be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t know his name.’

Brian’s visit is part of an ongoing tour around the country, as he looks to visit 100 judo clubs in 100 days.

Paul said: ‘When I heard about the tour I asked if he would like to come along to our club – an offer that he very kindly accepted.

‘Everyone was inspired by him and his achievements – we would all look up to him and that is why his tour was something we were greatly looking forward to.’

According to Paul, Brian’s achievements and rapid rise to fame had a massive impact on judo at a local level.

He said: ‘I was already doing it at the time but everyone knew him and was a big fan.

‘The sport suddenly became really popular at the same time he did – so what he achieved certainly had an impact, even here in Gosport.

‘This isn’t the first tour that Brian has done – there are a few in the past and they have always been popular.

‘When we first announced that this would be happening we had parents sharing their memories of the time they met Brian.

‘He definitely left a lasting impression on them, and I hope next weekend has much the same result.’

Brian’s visit will include a two-hour judo masterclass for the club members, followed by a book signing session.

Paul said: ‘The atmosphere at the club since we announced this has just been incredible.

‘Everyone is really excited about Brian’s visit – myself included.’

Brian Jacks was a regular of the hit TV show Superstars in the 1980s, that saw sports stars compete against each other at athletics.