Foyle Arena hosts Northern Ireland Open Judo Championships

Callum Nash
Callum Nash

Judo will take centre stage this Saturday and Sunday as the best local judokas and competitors from further afield battle it out at the Foyle Arena in the Northern Ireland Open.

Formerly known as The Northern Ireland Senior Open the competition switched to its present two day format within the last decade.

Bill Taggart chairperson of Northern Ireland Judo Federation is hoping the event will inspire more people to take up the sport.

“We’ll be using the Open to encourage more people into the Dojo and see the benefits of being involved in the sport, with a big entry and a main sponsor coming on board in the form of the City of Derry Airport it shows that Judo is in a strong place at the moment,” said Taggart.

“The entry for the Sunday of the Northern Ireland Open Judo Championships this year was at capacity two weeks before the closing date and the Saturday of the event has well over two hundred competitors so we’re looking forward to a weekend to showcase Judo at the Foyle Arena.

“This is our main competition of the year and it has attracted competitors from various countries and it’s fantastic for the local area that they will be staying and enjoying the hospitality.”

“We’ve had lots of support this year to promote and stage the event and I’d like to thank everyone who is involved in making the Northern Ireland Open such a success.”

James Reid a recent silver medallist at the British Championships and Derry native Callum Nash who took the gold medal in the Senior Men’s under 66 kg at the All Irelands in December will be among the local competitors challenging for honours on the mat.

The event is open to the public and admission is £2 each day.

Following on from the NI Open held in the Foyle Arena, the NI Judo Federation in association with Youth19 are offering you a free trial in a local judo club.

Between April 8-14 anyone can pop along to their local judo club in an old tracksuit with a bottle of water and try judo for free.

The free trial is open to newly registered members of Foyle Arena Judo Club, St Columb’s Park Judo Club and Shori Judo Club

For full details, contact:

Jim Toland - judojimbo@hotmail.com (Foyle Arena Judo Club, St Columb’s Park)

Or Gavin Abel - gavinabel@yahoo.com (Shori)