The 2011 Young Sportswoman of the year Rebecca Cuckoo (18) excelled once again at the Leinster Open Championships in Dublin last weekend.
This time Rebecca won a well-earned silver medal in the Senior under 63kg category and a bronze in the Junior event at the same weight. The Leinster Open attracts players from all over Ireland and beyond, so it is not an easy event at which to win medals. Rebecca is now a first year student at UUC where she is reading biomedical science and is also a member of the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Squad, from which the judo team to represent the Province at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will be selected.
Other players to take part in the Leinster Open from Coleraine include nine-year-old Amy Woodall and Bradley Jackson who both fought well, but were in categories with older and more experienced players. Neither Amy or Bradley have competed in an open event before and such an experience combined with what they learned in La Roche during a recent trip to France which Rebecca also attended, with the Coleraine twinning Association, will put them in good stead for the future.
Although primarily from the Ballymoney Causeway Judo Club Gracious Philips, who also trains with the Coleraine club, was disadvantaged at the Leinster Open because her category (u63kg) was merged with the one above (u70kg) which meant she was matched against opponents who were up to 10kg heavier than Gracious.
This year was one of the club’s most successful on record. This is attributed to the winning of a Sport NI grant to purchase a new mat. Acquisition of the mat enabled the club to host both the Northern Ireland Championships and training sessions for the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Squad. In addition to these prestigious events the Club can now boast a strong Senior Section in addition to its thriving Junior Section. Through popular demand the Club continued training in 2012 over the summer months for the first time and this has attracted several new players and coaches.