Games gold rush shows Gosport are fighting fit

Members of Gosport Judo Kwai
Members of Gosport Judo Kwai
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Gosport Judo Kwai underlined their status as a heavyweights in their sport at the Hampshire Games.

The long-running outfit collected a host of gold medals at the competition in Aldershot.

Their male and female junior teams had a big impact at the established and prestigious event.

That continued a winning run for the club, which has been going for 25 years.

The thriving outfit have a number of success stories at all levels.

Chief among them is British number one Sam Potts, who is being groomed as a potential Olympian of the future.

The 18-year-old now competes for Team Bath, although he maintains his Gosport affiliation.

And Gosport can boast full-to-brimming sessions at their St John’s Church Hall base.

Now the plan is push their progress by developing their home and taking their growth to the next level.

Club treasurer Dave Mitchell explained Gosport play a key role at grass-roots level in attracting people of all ages to their sport.

He said: ‘We’ve been going for a long time and we are a well-established club.

‘We have our successes and have had people in the British team.

‘We do a lot of stuff with the little ones and encourage them as much as possible.

‘We are out in the sticks but we get them from a young age and take them through. If they get to a certain level they will go to places like Dartford and Bath where there are centres of excellence.

‘They will retain an affiliation with us, though.

‘The club started as St Vincent about 25 years ago, but we’ve been in our current venue now for 20 years or so.

‘We put a team into the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Games recently and took a lot of gold medals there.

‘That shows how well we are going, but we’d like to extend our property so we can do more.’

Mitchell pinpointed Potts as an example of the success of Gosport and how the club develop talent.

He said: ‘Sam has been with us since the age of 10.

‘He is someone we have brought through.

‘Now he competes all over Europe in the big competitions.

‘Sam’s an example of what we do at grass-roots level.

‘We think we have an important role to carry out in bringing through people like Sam to go on to achieve things.’

Gosport stage a packed timetable of training sessions for all abilities each week.

Monday hosts the club’s novices from 6.30pm (five to eight-year-olds) and 7.30pm (nine to 14-year-olds).

Tuesdays sees senior intermediates in action from 8pm, Wednesdays senior low to intermediates (8pm) and Thursdays senior intermediates to high level (8pm).