In 2020 the club was on pause at the time of awards (covid-19 pandemic) so we had been holding weekly video chats in place of training.
At the start of June we used one of those sessions to present the annual awards to club members for performances through the 2019/2020 academic year, such as it was.
Competitive player of the year : Jules Harvey
This year there was one stand out player for this award, Jules Harvey. Jules attended a Samurai (Kidderminster) club competition in the blue & brown belt category and demolished the opposition in emphatic style. Shortly after he was promoted to brown belt.
Jules went on to take part in our own Kyu grade event (SUKT) in the 1st category and the Samurai masters & high grade events as 1st kyu. At both he put on a remarkable performance securing beyond the points needed for 1st dan in two events! It's a shame we may not be able to do his theory assessment at the club before he moves on, having completed his academic studies.
Beginner of the year : Huan Cai
Huan has really applied himself to his studies of Judo during the 2019/20 academic year. Having started with us in September he entered his first competition (Warwick uni) in the winter term and took silver in the novice-yellow category.
Spirit of Judo : Stephanie Libby
Steph has been a fine example of determination and hard work this year at the Sheffield univeristy Judo club. With an attitude to training and competition that many more experience players could learn from.
She has always worked hard during sessions, but significantly with / against partners significantly more experienced, bigger and heavier than herself. Regardless of outcome of a randori she rarely seemed dispirited when she 'lost' at the club as some players can be. The same attitude was taken to competitions (Steph had taken part in 2 this year), win or lose she generally left the contest area with a smile on her face.
Most Improved : Eldar Rahimov
The 2019/20 academic year has seen a number players develop and improve significantly, however the standout has to be Eldar. He continues to work hard and that work effort has really been showing dividends this year with strong improvement in both theoretical Judo (terminology, knowledge of waza etc) leading to grade promotion, but also his randori and competitive prowess.