ROTHERHAM Tigers Judo Club is celebrating a super six months of successes — and there will be many more to follow.
The group formerly run by the late, great former British Masters champion Keith ‘Tiger’ Brown is making big strides under modern-day champion Matt Horner.
Matt and club members have scooped a host of medals this year and now they want to introduce the sport to new people.
Based at Rotherham Leisure Complex, the club is going to launch a youth section and women's self-defence classes and Matt is setting a good example.
He's taken gold at the British and Irish Open Masters this year and a bronze medal at the Scottish Masters.
Club coach Matt also collected a silver at the High Wycombe Masters and finished a creditable fifth at the European Masters in Glasgow, losing in the semi-final to the 2017 world champion, 7ft German Jens Bischoff.
A date at the World Masters in Cancun, Mexico, in October is the next big date in Matt's diary but he also has plenty to occupy him at home.
“Judo is the best form of self-defence. We want to get more people involved and I also want to start producing some champions,” he said.
Clubmates Duncan Evans and Mick Pearson have also done well this year. Duncan won a bronze medal at the British Masters and a silver at High Wycombe while Mick came home with bronze from both the Irish Masters in Dublin and the Scottish Masters.
“Tiger’s legacy is living on through the club and its successes,” added Matt. “We're now the only judo club in Rotherham. It's a fantastic little group and it is going from strength to strength.”
Judo legend Brian Jacks wowed local enthusiasts from the club when he paid a visit on his farewell tour.
The multiple former champion and bronze medallist from the 1972 Munich Olympics was a household name in the late 1960s and ‘70s.
As well as winning a myriad of gold, silver and bronze medals from 1964-73, he gained national fame for his outstanding performances in the BBC series Superstars. He was most famous for his gym tests, including 100 parallel bar dips in 60 seconds.
Added Matt: “Brian was brilliant. He's the ultimate competitor and he was great with the kids. People really look up to him for what he has achieved, they came from all over to see him.”
Anyone interested in joining Rotherham Tigers Judo Club is welcome to ring Matt on 07834 782300.
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