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Community gets a kick out of highly successful judo club

Budokan Judo Club held a special ceremony last month to honour the athletes who competed at the National Championships.

Member for Castle Hill Ray Williams presented awards to the athletes who won 12 gold medals at the Nationals.

Mr Williams also donned a Judogi — the judo uniform — and stepped onto the mat at the Castle Hill dojo, where he learned new techniques including a hand throw called Tai-Otoshi.

Thirty-one athletes from the club entered 44 contest divisions and five Kata divisions at this year’s National Championships, held in Wollongong in June.

Following on from their national success, the club also has a number of athletes entering world championships later this year.

Mira Czarnetzki was ­selected to the Cadet World Championships along with Conor Edwards as a reserve, while Nathan and Josh Katz were selected to the 2015 Senior World ­Championships.

Nathan, 17, will be unable to attend the championships as it falls at the same time as his HSC, but his brother Josh, 20, will fly the flag for the club.

The boys’ father and club instructor Rob Katz said he was “absolutely” proud of all 31 athletes who participated in the championships.

“There’s a lot of work that goes into it and we’ve got a core group of high level athletes who are mentors for the younger ones,” he said.

“We have a high level of participation in competitions … For us it’s about participation first and res­ults second.”