2019 was a truly incredible and historic year for the club. We’ve travelled far and wide, achieved world titles, broken down barriers, extended legacies and seen phenomenal growth in the numbers training in our dojo week by week. Lets take a minute to reflect on some key highlights:
November: A historic moment as Sobell crown 4 WJF world champions and a further two WJF world medals at the WJF World Judo Championships in Carrarra, Italy. Alex Charalambous, Sam Charalambous, Lucian Buleandra and Jonathan Coe claim world titles. Sam Sampson takes silver and Alexis Bardini takes bronze. Alex Charalambous is rewarded his 1st dan as a result.
August: Around 30 Sobell judoka attend the JFAUK Worthing Summer School held annually on the British south coast. The course is led by Sobell head Sampson Sampson (8th Dan) and is supported by Sobell coaches Bob Bushnell (6th Dan), Farid Nemouchi (6th Dan) and Samuel Betu (6th Dan) - as well JFAUK Officers Chris Cooper (6th Dan), Rob Elliot (4th Dan) and Ross Elliot (3rd Dan). Lucian and Maceij receive their 1st dans at the same course.
July: Sobell judoka Sam Sampson and Alex Charalambous head to the 2019 World Sports Games in Tortosa to take on an elite level competition. Unfortunately no medals for them this time, however, medals were received by JFAUK team mates Ross Elliot and Oli Relton.
June: Alex Charalambous, Sacha McClean, Fionn Rowan, Lucian Buleandra and Jonathan Coe head to Greece for the WJF Matsuura international cup and each win a medal respectively.
May: Sobell judoka attend the JFAUK London Ne-waza championships and win a number of medals.
April: Sam Sampson takes bronze at the Cypriot national championships and qualifies for the Cypriot team - extending the legacy between the Sobell Judo Club and Cyprus Judo.
March: Lucian Buleandra and Jack Fairbairrn each win a gold medal at the All England National Championships.
March: Sam Sampson, Fionn Rowan, Alex Charalambous, Sasha McClean, Lucian Buleandra, Mikey Barton and Hannah Chesham attend the WJF Miyazaki International Cup in Greece and win a series of medals and trophies for the club.
March: Sobell judoka take part in the JFAUK London International Open and win an enormous medal haul.
February: Sobell head instructor Sampson Sampson heads to Gibraltar and expands the WJF portfolio by bringing the Gibraltan federation on board with the World Judo Federation.
February: Saad Sid, Sasha McClean, Lucian Buleandra and Sam Sampson head to Belgium for the Bilzen open. Saad and Lucian claim gold, Sam Sampson takes silver and Sasha takes bronze.
February: Zeynep Sun, Nima Akbari, Sam Charakambous and Karl Summerbell head to the British University Championships. Zeynep claims the British title, the other members unfortunately miss out out on a medal.
These are but a few highlights and there is plenty more to shout about. Thank you one and all for the continued support and commitment to the club. Of course, thank you to all instructors who work tirelessly to keep the club running and providing opportunities to each of us. We promise 2020 will be even bigger and even better!