Castle Hill’s Budokan Judo Club, which has produced Olympians and Commonwealth Games medallists, honoured their outstanding athletes, coaches, and volunteers at its recent 21st Awards Night.
Having been started by the highly-experienced judokas Rob and Kerrye Katz 25 years ago with just 10 members and two classes a week, the Budokan Judo Club now has more than 200 members and runs nine classes each week.
“When we took over the club in 1999, Kerrye and I tapped into all the experiences that we had as athletes training at different clubs all around the world when we were competing,” Rob explained. “Our aim was to build a club with a unique culture: one which focussed on a grass-roots entity as a community-based family-oriented judo club while also paving the way for high performance and international competitiveness.
“Our vision has always been to be recognised in the judo and general communities as the premium judo training centre in Australia. Rather than focussing on results, our coaching culture instills acknowledgement for participation in every aspect of the sport, in taking on challenges and putting in the best efforts in all activities, lessons that help in all aspects of life.’
Rob said their biggest achievement in competition is having consistent representation year after year at the World Championship level across all three senior age groups: under-17, under-21, and senior.
“The pinnacle of achievement has been having two Olympic representatives in Athens, followed by our first two home-grown Olympic representatives in Rio 2016 and then again in Tokyo 2020,” Rob said. The club were also very proud to have won two bronze medals at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, adding to their growing international profile.
“We have one athlete currently on track for qualification to Paris 2024 and are also proud of our diversity,” Rob said. “We had two athletes winning a gold medal and silver medal at the Virtus Asia-Oceania Games, the first time that Budokan has been represented at an international multi-sport competition in the Oceania-Asia region for elite athletes with an intellectual impairment.
“Budokan Judo Club’s membership ranges from four to 81 years from recreation players, to interested parents to Olympians and everything in between.”