New Year Message from Chair

To all members of Southern Area judo family.

I started to draft this message several times… but what to say in these very difficult times when everyone’s lives have been turned upside down and there’s more changes and challenges to face for some time. So I went back to the principles of judo… and found a Japanese proverb of “Fall seven times and stand up eight” – what a great phrase that sums up resilience. And this year we’ve seen resilience and determination in spades … from the coaches who have shown amazing creativity in their training sessions for judoka of all ages and skill levels, to the parents and carers who have continued to support their children to access those activities. And let’s not forget the ‘other halves’ of coaches who have supported their stressed-out judo volunteers through the numerous changes.

In November this year the International Judo Federation celebrated the 40th anniversary of the First World Championships for Women by hosting seminars and publishing memories of competitors. What comes across from these memories are the principles of our sport that make individuals confident and resilient, that provides opportunities for people to achieve more than they thought possible and that creates life-long friendships around the world. Below are some examples from the IJF website:

“Judo reinforces the values that are transmitted to you in the family, where you are educated to be honest, decent, respectful and never harm anyone. I am judo.”

“Very close friends. Lots of encounters. A way of moving through life; a way of flexibility.”

“A big family inside judo; friends and a love of helping others.”

“A philosophy of life.”

The Southern Area has always been strong in judo . Yes – we’ve lost a lot of clubs and players over the last 20 years and nowadays there’s a wider range of sports to choose from. BUT we are resilient… The County Committees continue to focus on ‘local’ support and news, and the main SA committee and specialist Committees have been working on ideas and plans to help deliver judo in ways that will meet the needs of players and volunteers. The timetable for our ‘Back to the Mat’ keeps changing due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, but the ideas and willingness are there.

So on behalf of the SA Committee and specialist committee volunteers, I wish you all a safe and happy New Year

Best Regards
Marion Woodard
Southern Area Judo 30.12.20

Ellen Cobb Birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ELLEN COBB …. Congratulations and best wishes from the Southern Area to Ellen for her 80th birthday on 14th December.

Ellen was a leading judoka at Area, National, and International levels from  1964 to 2004. After her competitive judo career, she became a leading figure in complementary & holistic therapies and the Bowen system.   

Ellen has always been an ‘Organiser Extraordinaire’ and has never done things by halves – before her judo career she worked with horses, managed a campsite and poultry farm and was involved in a number of sports such as of riding, hockey, badminton, rally driving and windsurfing.

She contributed to judo in many ways as a Senior Coach, Senior Examiner, National Referee and Tournament Controller.   We’re sure many of us remember her as Competition Controller in the ‘glass bowls’ at Crystal Palace running the 7 mat events with hundreds of players and packed seating areas.

Ellen was a national kata champion and top competitor in the early days of Women’s International judo with an impressive tally of medals :

European Championships:  1976 silver, 1975 bronze 75 silver, 1974 test Europeans silver. 

European Opens Dutch Open: 1977 +72  gold  bronze, 1975 -72 bronze, German Open 1973 +69 bronze, Swiss Open 1973 +68 silver., 1972 Yugolsavian Open, gold

British events: 1977 British Trials gold +72, 1976 British Open :+72  gold, 1975 British Open: gold -72 and bronze in open category,   1974 British Open: silver in -72, bronze in open category,  1972 British Open: bronze +68 kg,   1971 British Open : gold open category – the first British Ladies Champion; she also laid the mats

She was manager for the Young Women’s Squad with alumni players who went onto become European and world medallists.  For many years she was lead coach and manager of the very successful Guildford Judo Club, and organiser and head coach for the popular training camps at Burrow Hill  school in Surrey.

After retiring from her numerous judo activities  Ellen became interested in complementary therapies .. which led to her a leading figure in that world.  She qualified in aromatherapy and a range of massage therapies and worked in Uganda with their organisation The Aids Support Organisation helping to train nurses to deliver support therapies.  She qualified in the Bowen technique then went on to become a trainer , chairman of Bowen Training UK and Chairman of the Bowen Association UK .. see what we mean by her doing nothing by halves.!!  Since 1989 she has run a successful clinic in Farnborough providing a range of complementary therapies.

So Ellen , on behalf of all Southern Area clubs and members past and present we thank you for your incredible contributions to judo and wish  you a very happy birthday. 

Stephen Ellis and Marion Woodard