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‘It will ensure the sport is well resourced...’ - Quick glance at Judo

As we come closer to the opening day of the Gibraltar 2019 NatWest International Island Games we look closer at another of the sports hosting events. Judo makes a return to the calendar of events. We spoke to Gibraltar team’s senior coach Peter Conroy
As an Association how difficult has it been to organise the events you will be hosting?
Everything has been made easier because we have a very good and strong committee that are very efficient. We are also very lucky in having an excellent Chairman of the Technical Committee Damian Conroy who has and is working tirelessly to ensure that the events are a success.

How many people do you envisage will be involved in organising your particular sports events? How many of them are volunteers?
Our six committee members and about 15 volunteers.

How important is it for your Association to be hosting these events at this international level?
Given that Judo has not been included in the Island Games for some years now it is of great importance. It has raised the profile of the sport and given an opportunity to the students, who are extremely dedicated, a chance to compete, gain experience and develop as judokas.

What do you hope to gain in terms of experience from your participation?
It will give us an opportunity to put into practice all the values we try and instil in our
Judokas :
Respect – unconditional respect for opponents, fellow players, referees and spectators.
Friendship – Rivalry does not exclude friendship.
Team spirit – individuals can be strong on their own, but they are much stronger in a team. Sharing victory with your team, the ultimate pleasure.
It will give those taking part an opportunity to learn from the other judokas and improve their techniques and develop as judokas.

Can you see yourself organising similar international events in the future away from such a main event such as the island games?
Most certainly. It is always a challenge hosting an event, but very fulfilling and it will help further develop the sport.

The Island Games has provided an opportunity for organizations to upgrade equipment and facilities. How valuable is this for your association beyond the Island Games?
It will ensure the sport is well resourced and can host other international events.

How difficult has it been to select a final squad for the Island Games?
The standard expected was made clear to all the judokas on the onset. Those who wanted to be selected put in the effort and hours of training to achieve the desired standard.

What have been the biggest difficulties if any in the selection process? And how satisfied are you with your team?
Selecting the right weight category for each individual in the squad. Very satisfied with the squad they have all trained really hard and will be giving their all I am sure.

Who do you think are the persons to watch out for and why?
I could not single anyone out. I am very proud of all of the them they have given 100% .

How has training for the games been? And how different has it been from normal training for a normal competitive season?
We started training twice a week as is the norm, but once the squad was identified training became harder and they have been training every day Monday to Friday.

How important is it for you that these games are on home soil? And will that benefit you?
Given that Judo has not been included in the Island Games for some years
It raises the profile of the sport; it will help us make connections and friendships so we can hold other events in the near future.

With sports generally getting more resources and upgrades due to the Games how do you hope this will assist you in the development of the sport for the future?

Like I said before the development of any sport relies on it being well resourced. It puts us in a good position to host and invite other judokas from abroad to train and compete here in our club.