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Judo club opens Banff branch

By Grant Milne

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Almost 200 kids turned out for Garioch Judo Club's annual festival in Inverurie across the various age groups. Picture: Paul Douglas
Almost 200 kids turned out for Garioch Judo Club's annual festival in Inverurie across the various age groups. Picture: Paul Douglas

A NEW judo club in Banff is set to launch next month.

Stuart McWatt Snr, head coach of Inverurie-based Garioch Judo Club which has been running since 1997, has put plans in place to open a satellite base in the coastal town's academy.

He believes it is time there was a dedicated club in Banff, having not had one since at least the early 1980s, to open the sport up to the area.

Around 30 kids have already expressed interest in coming along to the first training session on Monday, January 13.

“We're really excited about it", he said.

“We're also working out of the secondary school in Mintlaw at the moment.

“But it's a brand new club in Banff.

“One of our members, Morgan MacDonald, has been involved with ActiveSchools and has gone round all of the primary schools in the Banff area in preparation for it.

“We've been up there doing judo in schools every other week because we want them all to get a flavour of it.

“It's about taking judo into the communities."

A similar project was established in Kinellar earlier this year.

And Stuart is hopeful that the extra exposure can help unearth local talent who are willing to work towards competing at national level

“A lot of the stuff up in the Banff direction is football, football, football so we want to try and give the kids something a bit different”, he added.

“That's the idea [that people from all around the area will travel].

“We've eight or nine smaller clubs all around Aberdeenshire so what will happen in time is that they'll all feed into the main club, which is Garioch.

“There's youngsters doing community judo which is fine, but any shining stars that come through, we'll always try and navigate them down our performance pathway at Garioch.

Around 180 kids turned out for Garioch's annual festival recently at the Sports Centre in Inverurie.

The head coach's son, Stuart Jnr, was in attendance to give out advice to the youngsters as he closes in on a place in the Team GB squad for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.

For more information, please contact Stuart Snr on: gariochjudo@gmail.com, or visit the club's Facebook page.

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