It is here at last – 2012! The year of the queens jubilee, the year the world is supposed to end and most importantly the year of the London Olympic games!
British judo has a good, strong Olympic history with 16 Olympic medals won since the infusion of judo in the games in 1964. BUt Great Britain has never won Olympic gold (I know they got two when in was a demonstration event taking the total to 18), this for me is a painful fact and this is the year that could change it. Who will be Great Britain’s first Olympic gold medalist?
The truth is that although judo is an individual sport it is also a team effort. We have only won one Olympic medal in the last 20 years and that was the fantastic Kate Howey in 2000 who won silver (following on from a previous bronze). Before Kate became the GB development coach we were having a discussion in a class, I cannot remember what the question was, I think it was something about what you want to contribute to judo or maybe it was something about Olympic gold but I do remember Kate’s answer. She said “if I only contribute 1% to Great Britain first Olympic gold i’ll be happy”.
I have thought about this a lot. There are now 207 days until our -60kg player steps on the mat and over the 7 days of judo hopefully one of Team GB judo will be the first judoka to achieve Olympic gold from Great Britain. But if judo is a team effort what will be your 1%?
We have four training centres working with Olympic players – BPJI Dartford, University of Bath, Camberley Judo Club and Ratho, Edinburgh. All of these need help in some way or another, maybe you could help by supporting a player financially, maybe you could video or maybe you’re a physio? Probably 80% of the people reading this are dan grades, maybe you could just go to randori every week? If you’re a coach maybe you could take your players? The quality, quantity and depth of randori is essential to our success, we need numbers! It is only 7 months of travelling to a club once or twice a week.
It is time to claim your 1%
I leave you with this well known quote from Theodore Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. “
Happy new year, may it be golden!