Judo is apart of the AIS Draft Camp


JUDO - Joins the AIS Sports Draft Camp

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) recently held national selections to unearth potential Olympic talent in judo and boxing. More than 250 registered for the trials and 37 made it through to a draft camp in Canberra this week. It has been a tough few days for those athletes as they were pushed to their mental and physical limits.The institute's senior physiologist Clare Humberstone says both physical and mental strength have been tested.

"We have people there who are either currently serving in special forces from the Australian military or have retired," she said. "We have them leading us through activities where they take the role of the opponent." Athletes at the camp are aged between 14 and 27 with experience in numerous sports. It's just great to see people pushing through their pain barriers in all sorts of aspects of the competition," Dr Humberstone said. "It might seem a little bit brutal, but really in combat sports it's what you need. "You need people who are going to push through injuries, you need people who are not going to whimp out when it gets tough."

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The Judo Federation was approached along with other sports. Stewart Brain on behalf of the JFA Inc. has been liaising with the AIS to get the Judo side of this initiative underway. This included a pilot camp 3 months earlier and considerable work in the planning of the day to day Judo specific activity as well as the layout of the Combat Centre venue at the AIS.

Alan Broadhead a JFA Inc. Director, attended every session of the camp, including a early 3am boot camp. During the camp Alan had said, "The inclusion of Judo in this initiative cannot be underestimated. It puts Judo in a prime location at the AIS, gives Judo enormous exposure & profile but more importantly, gives Judo a way to lift its' international performance in future years. It will help redefine our culture and set a benchmark of athlete performance not seen before in this country. The synergy of combat sports striving together will provide the environment for all athletes exposed to this program to push themselves to higher levels of individual performance.

The Judo program, structured by Stewart Brain, was delivered by NTID coach Dennis Iverson with the support of available, identified coaches from high performance clubs around the nation. This included, Warren Rosser, Fiona Iredale, Morgan Endicott-Davies, Tom Hill, Kylie Koenig, Steven Brown, Debbie Hill & Ben Donegan. The JFA is very appreciative of the input of these coaches to ensure the success of the first AWE Draft.

The JFA selected 7 potential athletes (3 female 4 male) from within the camp and they will continue to attend local Judo clubs in the hope they can convert their physical and mental attributes into our sport.