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C’mon Hampshire!

Victorious Hampshire squad players at Crystal Palace

Hampshire players will be competing in the Southern Area intercounty team tournament on Sunday 5th May.

Men, women, boys and girls will take on teams from Kent, Sussex and Surrey in this annual event that is one of the highlights of the Southern Area calendar.

This year’s event is being held at Worthing Leisure Centre, with action on the mat due to start at around 9.30am.

Two players who train at the club will be taking part – Michael Churcher and Chloe Lymer. We wish them and the rest of the team Good Luck!

Previous Court Lane representatives in Hampshire Team:

  • Brett Caswell
  • Andy Gould
  • Lewis Dolman
  • Azhar Baree
  • Isla Savellis-Fry

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Celebrating 25 years – Part 2


Competition success wasn’t immediate for the club, although players were competing from day 1 – Simon Brown was a regular early competitor.

The first medal came from Brett Caswell, winning the 1997 Hampshire Closed Orange & Under tournament. This was also his first competition!

Brett followed this with a medal at the 1998 Southern Area Open, and qualification for the Southern Area squad at the end of the  same year.

His main club competition came from Chris Batchelor, who took his first medal in 1998. The two became regular training and competition partners. Chris’ younger brother Tim also followed on the mat, before following a successful hockey career.

Success rapidly followed for the girls, with Kate Borland claiming a podium place. Brett’s younger sister Tiffany later became a fierce competitor for the club, including competing at the Kent and London Internationals.

1997 World Champion Kate Howey MBE visited in 1999, in the run up to the World Championships held in Birmingham. On the back of attending the 1999 Kendal Summer Camp and some crafty initiative, Brett blagged himself a volunteer role at the World Championships, meeting judo greats such as Ryoko Tamura.

At the end of the year, Brett secured a top two placing on the Southern Area squad, which gave him entry to that year’s National Championships. A bronze medal here meant a place on the Great Britain cadet squad, with his first overseas competition (and a fifth place) coming soon after.

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Nekoda Davis treats Court Lane to Olympic masterclass

Nekoda with class

Court Lane Judo Club celebrated their 25th birthday with a visit from Rio Olympian and 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Nekoda Smythe-Davis, on Saturday 5th May.

Guests included club founder and original coach Roger Spreadbury, and former coach and News Coach of the Year nominee Jill Brown.

Davis, who herself recently turned 25, demonstrated some of the techniques that helped her win a world bronze medal in 2017, and joined in practice with the players.

In an insightful and honest question and answer session, she answered questions about her judo career, how she prepares for competition and the pressures on her at the beginning of judo’s two year qualification cycle for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Davis was joined on the mat by Brett Caswell. Caswell won the inaugural -21 Commonwealth Judo championships in 2006, 2005 British Championships and represented Great Britain all over the world. Jonty Bassil was another willing uke.

The session ended with Davis and Spreadbury cutting a cake to honour the Club’s 25th birthday.

Current Club Coach Tony Brown said, “It was great to get a player of Nekoda’s calibre down to help us celebrate our 25th birthday. The Club is on the way back up, with several players being selected for Hampshire squads over the last couple of years, and this was our way of giving the players, and their parents, something to inspire them and motivate them to keep working hard at their judo. It is a tough sport, but as Nekoda amply demonstrated, the rewards are there for those who keep their focus and determination.”

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Brett Caswell to attend Olympic session with Nekoda Davis

Brett at GB World Cup 2007

We are delighted to confirm that Brett, our own 2005 British champion and former -21 Commonwealth champion, will be attending the session with Nekoda Davis on 5th May.

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BJA announce Talent ID days

Lewis Dolman, England Squad

If you fancy following in the steps of some of our most successful players – Brett Caswell, Andy Gould, Lewis Dolman, Ben Garside – you may interested in the Talent Identification day the British Judo Association are hosting at Dartford Judo Club on Sunday 14th January.

Selection here will form the basis of a Southern England Development squad.

Full details and how to register, can be found on the BJA website.

Applications must be made by 30th November.

Brett Caswell throws for ippon at 2007 GB World Cup

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Tony appointed as joint junior squad manager for Hampshire Judo

IMG_5529Club coach Tony Brown has been appointed with Holbrooke’s Paul Vella to jointly manage the Hampshire junior squad. The decision was announced at the recent Hampshire AGM.

Tony has previously supported Hampshire Judo in a PR role, helping to set up the website and Facebook pages, as well as securing much local press coverage.

Both Tony and Paul are keen to return Hampshire junior judo to the level of success it enjoyed in the early 2000s – both Tony and Paul were involved in this, working with other coaches to lead busy Hampshire sessions and totally dominate the Southern Area intercounties tournament.

2002 Intercounties Champions

2002 Intercounties Champions

Many of the players involved during this time went on to secure GB representation – Brett Caswell, Andy Gould, Joph Spencer, Ben Garside, Vince Skillcorn, Craig Tullett, Sarah Patterson Sam Potts, Lewis Dolman, Lisa Stevens…

Initial training dates have been set and will be announced shortly. These are open to ALL players, not just County medallists.

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Referee Course 30 May

Referee and players

Referee and players

A Hampshire based Referee course for Junior and Senior players has been announced.

The course will run on Saturday 30 May.

Full details are available from the BJA website.

This is a great opportunity for competitive players to gain a better understanding of the rules, or for those who wish to gain a refereeing qualification.

Court Lane has had a number of referees over the years:

  • Roger Spreadbury
  • John MacEnri
  • Brett Caswell
  • Chris Batchelor
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Train with a Champion 10 June

Brett in action at 2007 GB World Cup

Brett in action at 2007 GB World Cup

We are delighted to announce that Brett Caswell, our own Little Ninja, will be taking a junior session for us on Tuesday 10 June, from 7-8pm. Hopefully we can get an adult class too!

Brett started his Judo career with us and has a long string of successes to his name, including:

2010 English Open bronze
2007 GB World Cup 9th
2007 Swiss Open silver
2006-21 Commonwealth Champion
2006 English Open Champion
2005 Ontario Open bronze
2005 British Closed Champion
2005 Scottish Open silver
2005 British Junior Open Champion
2004 British Junior Closed Champion
2004 British Closed Bronze
2004 Welsh Open bronze
2004 Scottish Open bronze
2004 British Junior Open silver

Posted in Announcements, Training

Court Lane preparing for international adventures

Court Lane Judo Club is preparing for two forays into the international judo scene.

Tony Brown and Andy Read will accompany Jonty Bassil, Azhar Baree and Simon Bassil on a trip to Royan, France at the end of May to train with the ROC Judo Club.

This trip is being organised by Holbrook Judo Club, in Gosport, as part of the twinning arrangement between Gosport and Holbrook.

Tony took part in this exchange visit two years ago, with Brett Caswell and Greg Anderson. Brett also travelled to France with Holbrook in 2010. Court Lane players have taken part in activities organised by Holbrook when French players have visited the UK.

Training in Royan

Training in Royan

Players are also focussing on the Kent International, held at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, at the end of June. We have decided to add this competition to our schedule this year following the strong performances of our players at the recent Hampshire Closed. All the players who competed with such distinction are encouraged to consider entering the Kent International as a development opportunity.

Brett throws for ippon Kent International 2004

Brett throws for ippon Kent International 2004

The Club has enjoyed success at this competition previously:

2000 – Brett Caswell, bronze
2001 – Brett Caswell, bronze
2002 – Andy Gould, silver; Brett Caswell, bronze (Youth)
2003 – Andy Gould, gold; Brett Caswell, silver (Youth) and bronze (Senior)
2004 – Andy Read, bronze; Brett Caswell, gold (Senior)
2007 – Craig Jones, bronze
2009 – Craig Jones, bronze (Youth)

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Lewis Dolman wins bronze at British University Judo Championships

Lewis, who started his judo career at Cosham’s Court Lane Judo Club, won a bronze medal at -66kg in yesterday’s British University Judo Championships.

lewis bronze

This marked a brilliant return to form for Lewis, currently studying zoology at Nottingham University, who had not competed for over a year after being knocked unconscious in a previous tournament.

Lewis came through second in his pool, to enter the knockout stages of the competition. A loss to eventual winner Thomas Johnson (LSE) put him into the repechage where he dominated all his remaining fights, to claim bronze with an ippon scoring throw on Sean Martell (University of South Wales) 1m 46s into the 5 minute contest.

Full results can be found on the JudoTechnologies website.

Lewis is the 2nd player from the club to compete at the British Universities Championships, Brett Caswell winning gold at -60kg for Bath in 2005.

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