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28th November 2014 – Tom Reed coaching session

Players from our club had kindly been invited by Barlestone Judo club to join them for an evening’s judo under the instruction of guest coach Tom Reed, European cup gold medalist, Commonwealth silver medalist and Rio 2016 Olympic squad member.

The evening was a great success with all learning some new techniques and variations.

Pictured below, Tom Reed (Centre) with players and coaches from Cedars and Barlestone Judo Clubs.

Sunday 19th October 2014 – Open National Championship Results

Congratulations to those from the club who competed at the recent National Open Championships, held in Birmingham on the 19th October 2014.

Luke Dexter won silver in the Mens U66Kg category with Balalaz Kelemen winning the bronze in the Mens U88Kg category

Sunday 12th October 2014 – Senior Grading

Congratulations to those that took place in the Senior Grading held in Birmingham on 12th October 2014.

Luke Dexter went from Junior Blue to Senior Orange.

Asha Ladd went form Green to Blue.

Balaz Kelemen went from Blue to Brown.

Marc Evan went from Blue to Brown.

Sunday 28th September 2014 – Area Low Grade Event

Congratulations to those from the club that took part in the Area Low Grade Event. The results were as follows:

Balazs Kelemen – Gold in the mens under 75Kg category

Maaya Hayer – Gold in the girls under 50Kg category

Taraa-Rebecca Hayer – Gold in the girls under 28Kg category

Gurleen-Sabrina Hayer – Bronze in the girls under 25Kg category

27th June 2014 Cedars and Castle mixed team event

Congratulations to all those that took part in the Cedars and Castle mixed team event.

A great evening was had by all players with some excellent judo on display from players of all ages and grades.

The teams where made up of players from both clubs with all working well together and giving great support to their fellow team members.

Cedars would like to pass on their thanks to Castle for hosting the event.


The results were as follows

18th May 2014 Results of Area Low Grade and Open Grade Championship

Congratulations to all those from the club that won medals at the recent Area Open Event.  The competition attracted a very large entry from all over the country with the standard of fighting being of the highest quality.

The club did very well with a mixture of our lower and higher grades competing.

Maaya Hayer took two silver medals one in the low grade under 50kg class and the other in the open grade under 50kg class.

Taraa Hayer took two bronzes one in the low grade under 30kg class and the other in the open grade under 25kg class.

Toby Mason took bronze in the low grade under 45kg event.

Molly Goodman took bronze in the low grade under 30kg event.

Gurleen Hayer took bronze in the girls open grade under 25kg event.

Luke Dexter took bronze in the boys open grade middleweight event.

Simon Nurse took bronze in the mens Lightweight event.

National Training Masterclass with Lewis Keeble and Nekoda Davis

National masterclass with Lewis Keeble and Nekoda Davis

Junior and Senior players from Cedars Judo Club along with other players from around the UK attended a day of judo at a Masterclass session under the excellent instruction of Lewis Keeble and Nekoda Davis.

The day involved standing and groundwork techniques and was rounded off with the opportunity to put what had been learnt into practice with some free fighting practice.

The day was a great success and the club would like to pass on a big thank you to Lewis and Nekoda.Photo below – Players from the club with Lewis and Nekoda.Left to right:  Front: Luke Dexter and Simon Nurse.  Back: Jas Hayer, Lewis Keeble, Nekoda Davis and Tony Jones.

23rd March 2014 – AJA National Closed Championship

Congratulations to all those members that took part in the AJA National Championships held in Birmingham on the 23rd March 2014

The Club took 7 of its players and we returned with an impressive haul of 7 medals and  places in the National Squad.

The results were as follows:

Gold medals and title of National Champions went to went to Blake Wass (Boys u32kg), Luke Dexter (Boys u60kg), Katy Darcy (Girls u65kg), Harry Jones (16/17 yrs L/W) and Asha Lad (Ladies u52kg).

Marc Evans won a Silver medal in the Mens U90kg with Bryn Jones taking the Bronze in the same event

All the medal winners will now be part of the British team with some going on to represent the UK in Holland later in the Year.

8th November 2013 – A great night of Judo at the Club. Neil Adams OBE 8th dan and Barlestone visit.

We had a great judo session on Friday 8th November when Barlstone judo club came over for a visit. We were also honoured to be joined by Neil Adams MBE, 8th dan, World champion, 5 times European champion and two times Olympic silver medallist along with his wife Niki (another judo Olympian) and their kids.

The coaches (Wayne Lakin and Toni Robinson) at Barlestone both started Judo at the Cedars a long time ago and it was nice to see them back for the evening.  Thanks to all those Barlestone players that came over, we will return the visit early in the new year.

November 2013 – Junior Grading

Congratulations to all those form the club who recently graded.

The results were as follows:













Sunday 20th October 2013 – AJA Open National Championships

Congratulations to those from the Club that fought in the AJA Open National Championships.

Sunday 20th October 2013 – Birmingham

We took four players and came back with 4 well deserved medals.

Harry Jones – Gold – Mens U66kg

Katy Darcy – Gold – Girls U65kg

Blake Wass – Gold – Boys U32kg

Luke Dexter – Bronze – Boys U60kg

13th October 2013 – Senior Grading – Cannock

Senior Grading – 13th October 2103 – Cannock

Well Done to those from the club who took part in the recent senior grading.  This was one of the toughest gradings for several years with all members performing well:

Simon Nurse went from novice to senior yellow belt

Neil Patridge went from novice to senior orange belt

Asha Lad went from senior orange to senior green belt

Harry Jones went from Junior brown to senior green

6th October 2013 – Harry wins silver at Bushi Open

Congratulations to Harry Jones on winning Silver in the Mens Lightweight event at the Bushi Open Championships held in Birmingham on the 6th October 2013.

Harry was the lightest player in his category and had to work extremely hard for his trophy in this very tough event – Well done.

22nd October 2013 – Results of Area Open Event

Congratulations to all those that took part in the Area Open Event held on the 22nd September 2013

Venue – William Bradford Community College, Earl Shilton, Leicester.

The results were as follows:

Gold medals: Emmie Allsopp, Szymon Mosciszko(x2), Ethan Wass, Austin Bettoney, Harry Jones and Bryn Jones.

Silver medals: Lexa Mosley, Jazmine Crawford(x2) Riley Fluke, Blake Wass, Simon Nurse, Neil Patridge(x2), Spencer Allsopp, and Harry Jones

Bronze medals: Caitlin Nurse, Leon Bettoney, Cody Moseley, Spencer Allsopp, Katy Darcy and Simon Nurse.

Participation certificates: Evan Mead and Joe Crawford


National Success for Cedars Judoka

Congratulations to Luke Dexter and Matt Bratton who both took medals at major National events.

On the 19th February Matt competed at the British Judo Associations English Open Championships held in Sheffield.   Matt completed in the black belt over 100kg class and after a series of very competitive fights won through to gain the silver medal.

A few weeks later on the 17th March Luke competed in the Amateur Judo Associations National Championships held in Birmingham.  Luke competed in the Under 55kg event and won the silver medal. Off the back of this success Luke will be going to represent the AJA in an international event to be held in Holland on the 11th and 12th May.

28th April 2013 – Area Open

Congratulations to all those that took part in the Area Open Championship held at Earl Shilton on the 28th April 2013.

With over 200 entries from clubs all over the country the standard of Judo was exceptionally high – Well done to all competitors and thanks for the support from coaches and parents on the day.

March 2013 – Congratulations to all those club members that recently graded

Congratulations to all those players that recently graded.  The results are as follows:

Ethan Wass – White belt + 1 Yellow Tab

Blake Wass – White belt + 1 Yellow Tab

Sam Stayte – Full Yellow Belt

Luke Dexter – Orange + 1 Green Tab

Katy-Rae Darcy – Full Green

Matthew Bratton – Black Belt Second Dan

Apologies there was a problem with the camera memory card and the photo taken was unusable.

3rd February 2013 – East Midlands Area Closed Championship

Congratulations to all those from the club that took part in the Area Closed Championship held on 3rd February 2013.

Venue: William Bradford Community College, Earl Shilton.

Gold medals were won by Emmie Allsop, Blake Wass (x2), Harry Jones and Luke Dexter.  Silver medals were won by Riley Fluke, Ethan Wass (x2), Spencer Allsop, Emmie Allsop (x2), William Wood and Marc Evans. Bronzes were won by Piper Allsop, William Wood, Riley Fluke, Alana Richardson and Spencer Allsop


4th November 2012 – Area Low Grade Championship

Well done to all those from the club that competed at the Area Low Grade Open Event on Sunday 4th November 2012.

Cedars took 17 of its players to this Championship. For the vast majority of them it was the first Championship they had been in but it didn’t show. All of the players gave it their best which resulted in some excellent fights and some great results:

Golds:  Blake Wass, Ethan Wass and Niamh Higgins.

Silvers: Austin Bettoney and Keelan Putnam

Bronzes: Alana Richardson, Evan Richardson, Conner Higgins, Jazmine Crawford, Tyler Fray, Ryan Lord, Evan Mead, Joshua Mead, Riley Fluke, Leon Bettoney, Luke Dexter, Callum Higgins, George Heath and Kizzy Moore.

A busy October reaps rewards for club

A busy few weekends for the Club resulted in some great results.

The first was at the Area Open Invitation event held on the 23-10-12 at Earl Shilton.

Gold Medals were won by: Keane Coape-Arnold and Luke Dexter

Silver Medals were won by Harry Jones and Mini Coape-Arnold and Katy-Rae Darcy

with Bronze medal being won by Christian Hart.

The following week Asha Lad took part in her second senior grading held in Birmingham and gained her Orange belt.

And then to finish of the run of events Christian Hart won a gold medal and Luke Dexter a silver at the Bushi JC open championship held in Birmingham.

Well done to all.

14th October 2012 – Amateur Judo Association – National Open Championships

Congratulations to players form the club that took part in the Amateur Judo Association – National Open Championships :

Gold: Harry Jones – Boys U60kg

Silvers: Riley Fluke – Boys U22kg, Luke Dexter – Boys U 50kg, Christian Hart – Boys U60kg and Katy-Rae Darcy – Girls O65kg

Bronzes: Finn Lydon – Boys U45kg and Reed Lydon – Girls U40kg


A great day in honour of a great man.

The Cedars Judo Club held a Memorial training day and get together in memory of Derek Richardson who unfortunately passed way, recently, at the age of 68.

Derek was one of the founder members of the club which will be celebrating its 50th Birthday next year and was the coach there until he had to retire in 1998 due to ill health.

The event was attended by Derek’s family plus over 200 judo players and friends of the club from both the past and present with 60 of them putting on their judo suits and taking part in a 3 hour training session.

The large turnout combined with hundreds of messages of support showed what a great influence this one man had on so many people. Derek not only selflessly gave up his time to run the club 3 times a week but he also became a very active member of the Area committee and held the position of Area coach for many years.  He also refereed at Area and National level to the very highest of standards.

He instilled into all of his pupils that they should work hard, show respect to each other at all times and most of all, that they should enjoyt their Judo.

Derek’s winning formula turned out some outstanding judo players who went on to win many trophies at both national and international levels. But, to Derek it also was just as important to concentrate on those who were never going to be the next superstars but just loved doing judo for the enjoyment of it.

As well as the training session on the mat, Derek’s wife Joan rallied round family and friends and organised various fund raising activities for the day, such as a tombola stall, raffle, cakes stall, games etc.  This combined with donations made at Derek’s funeral (which the family kindly decided to donate towards the club) raised £890.00 towards club funds.

The Cedars Judo Club is still going as strong as ever under coach Tony Jones who started Judo as one of Derek’s pupils back in 1976.  Tony has always been a great believer in how Derek ran the club and has tried to keep the same methodology in practice since taking over.

Sunday 17th June 2012 – Success for Christian at Area Grading

Congratulations to Christian Hart on a great performance at the area gradings held on the 17th June in Digby, Lincolnshire.

After successfully winning against a line up of 6 opponents and completing his syllabus to a high standard he was awarded a full brown belt, the maximum grade he could get for his age.

7th June 2012 – Derek Richardson – Eulogy given by Tony Jones at Derek’s Funeral

Derek Richardson – Eulogy given by Tony Jones at Derek’s Funeral

For those that don’t know me I’m Antony Jones. I was both a pupil and a friend of Derek’s and I’ve been the coach at the Cedars Judo Club since he retired.

When Joan asked me if I could say a few words about Derek and his Judo  I was honoured but also somewhat apprehensive.

Apparently to prepare a Eulogy you need to do your research, ask questions and ensure that what you say is a balanced and true reflection of the person.

With that in mind I asked Judo players that Derek taught and trained with over the years what things that they could remember about him – I have tried to bring all of these together along with my own memories to try and tell you a little bit about Derek the Judo Coach.

There was so much he did for the sport and so many memories that if I went through everything we would be here all day, so this is the condensed version.

I have tried to keep this in some form of chronological order.

In November 1963 a new Judo club had been started by Jock Milne in Barwell as an adult evening class at the Cedars house.

In 1964 at the age of 20 a young Derek Richardson decided to join the club and have a go.

Purely by coincidence my now father-in-law started judo at the Cedars at the same time as Derek. He recalls a little skinny bloke with a tash that was awkward to throw and impossible to hold down, so nothing changed there over the years. He also recalled he’d got girlfriend with a bit of a mouth on her, I’m not sure who that could have been.

Derek rapidly progressed through the grades and gained his brown belt in 1966.

Derek took on more and more of the coaching at the club and when Jock retired Derek with the help of Pete Sephton took the club on.

Under Derek the club went from strength to strength and soon stopped becoming an evening class and became a standalone club in its own rights.

The club quickly outgrew the room in the Cedars house and moved around several venues in Earl Shilton and Barwell, but on Derek’s insistence it always kept the original name of The Cedars Judo Club.

Jumping a few years forward to 1976.  At the age of 12 I went to watch my cousin fighting at his first judo championships.  I was hooked, I loved sport especially Rugby and Gymnastics and Judo looked like both of these rolled into one. At the end of the evening I plucked up courage to go and ask Derek if I could come to his club and try Judo. He couldn’t have made me feel more at ease, he spoke about the sport with such enthusiasm I wanted to start there and then, unfortunately they had put the mat away and the chairs were just being stacked up. I went home and pestered my mum and dad to let me start the following week.

From day one I loved judo and that was down to one very special coach. I vividly remember at the end of each session we would have the opportunity to  fight against the coaches, everyone would rush to want to have a go with Derek. He would throw himself about as if we were the best judo players in the world. Each time he landed he would let out a groan and pretend he couldn’t get his breath. Although thinking about later that may have been the 40 a day he smoked.

He would pick us up and spin us around above his head to the cries of Heardy Gurdy. For quite a time I thought this was the Japanese word for ‘spinning around’.

Out of interest Heardy Gurdy caught on and is still regularly practiced at many clubs throughout the area.

Moving forward to the October of 1979, Pete decided to move on and start his own Club in Leicester.

Derek with the help of the higher grades, such as Vicky and later myself continued to run the club which continued to grow in numbers and strength.

One thing I clearly remember was that Derek was never about what grade he was. In fact I had to push him quite hard to go for his black belt. His view was that he’d only had his brown belt for 15 years,   what was the rush to grade again. Eventually on the 7th June 1981 in Skegness, after demonstrating his theory, performing a perfect set of Katas, winning nine grueling fights, crawling off the edge of the mat shattered and recovering with two cigarettes and a coffee he was awarded his black belt.

Derek not only continued to give up his time to run the club 3 times a week but he also became a very active member of the Area committee and held the position of Area coach for many years.  He also refereed at Area and National level to the very highest of standards.

Unfortunately this all changed in 1998 when Derek suffered a heart attack which forced him into retirement.  He asked me If I would continue to run the club now that he couldn’t, to which I of course agreed.

That was a brief history, but what did all of those hundreds of people that Derek taught or knew through Judo remember about him, obviously a few thing I’ve already mentioned but there a few I haven’t.

Many people recalled he had the ability to make hard work seem fun and enjoyable. When he shouted come on keep working only 30 seconds left, we all knew this really meant about 10 minutes.

Several people remembered that he was very keen to maintain the traditions and etiquette that go hand in hand with Judo.  He insisted we all bowed when entering or leaving the dojo, we had to wear the correct footwear when off the mat, clean white suits must be worn, none of these new fancy blue ones. Eyeliner and lipstick were a definite no no, and he insisted that this was the same for the girls as well.

When it came to Derek’s Judo we all remembered and we all got to learn the hard way that he loved to throw using Tome-nage. Everyone remembered what a fantastic ground work player he was, in fact I would say when he was at his best he was almost unbeatable.

If any of you noticed when I got up I said a few words to Derek as I passed his coffin, it wasn’t the usually thing such as rest in peace.    I told him – I bet I could hold you down now.

One thing that everybody without fail recalled was how Derek timed the breaks at Judo. Most of our sessions were two hours long with a break in the middle.  Break was always 1 cup of coffee and 1 cigarette long.

You probably think this is a bit odd, why did everyone remembered this and not some super technique that he showed us.

To be honest this doesn’t surprise me at all. Derek never tried to impress by showing flashy judo he was about making sure we got the basics right and then developing on what you found to be the most natural for you.

He instilled in us all that we should show respect to each other at all times,  and that most of all we should enjoy our Judo.

Derek’s winning formula turned out some outstanding judo players that went on to win many trophies at both national and international levels.   But to Derek It also was just as important to concentrate on those that were never going to be the next superstars but just loved doing judo for the enjoyment of it.

Derek was a true inspiration to me and to so many he taught Judo to. I honestly believe what he  taught on the mat also made us better people and this reflected in part on how we went on to live our lives.

I’m not one for reciting quotes but I think this one is appropriate to end on:

Albert Einstein once said:

Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation.

Derek you live on not only through your children Phillip, Paul and Stacey but through all of the younger generation that are doing Judo today, through clubs within our area that wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the time and devotion you put into the sport that you loved.

Rest in peace Sensei.

2nd – 3rd June 2012 – Matt Wins International Gold

Congratulations to Matt Bratton on another Great International Victory

Matt competed in the +100Kg at the Venray  International Judo Tournament held in the Netherlands on the 2nd and 3rd June 2012.

Matt once again put everything into this competition, and after 5 extremely tough competitive fights managed to secure the necessary wins to gain the gold medal.

Well done – A great victory and it shows hard work really does pay off.

Derek Richardson (The Greatest Coach) unfortunately passed away on 22nd May 2012

Derek Richardson was one of the Founder members of the Club and was the Coach until illness forced his retirement in 1998. Derek’s dedication to the Club and it’s members created one of the strongest and most successful clubs in the country.  He always knew how to get the best out of everyone and had a way  of making our training sessions both hard work and fun.  Derek was a true inspiration to so many that he taught judo to, and we honestly believe that the lessons he taught on the mat had a great influence on how people went on to live their lives.   Derek you will be missed by so many – Rest in Peace.

A few comments from past players:

Derek, I cannot thank you enough for all of your time, patience, knowledge, love and support over the many years that I knew you. As a visitor to your club you treated me with the care and respect of one of your own pupils and then after I joined the Cedars family, as if I was your own daughter. You taught me so much and not just on the judo mat, without you taking me under your wing I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do what I’m do today. Your smile and kind heart will never be forgotten as you will remain in the hearts and memories of the many people whose lives you’ve touched and changed for the better. Derek you were a true inspiration, a legend! Rest in peace x.     Julie Burton

Derek was my first proper Judo coach, an inspiration beyond his years, he allowed students to grow even if it meant outgrowing the club and himself as a coach, this is the remark of a true selfless coach and a great man. I enjoyed as did others the times spent at Cedars Judo Club to which Derek put in countless hours of voluntary service, if its any consolation I try and run my own club as Cedars ran. Derek a true coach a true gent here’s to your final matte x   Wayne Lakin

I will always remember Derek as my coach, a mentor, a father figure, and a true inspiration to hundreds in the judo community. Derek first came into my life when I was a very young teenager, and the impact he made on it will stay in my heart forever. He taught me how to be gracious in defeat, and also honourable in victory. When the time was right he showed me how to coach others, a skill that would have a major impact in my working career. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone so selfless as Derek, and I will always remember countless times the proudness he felt of seeing so many of his students achieve such greatness. My thoughts are with his direct family during this difficult time. Marc Evans

I can’t really add anything else to what Marc has put here. From the day I had to leave the tots mat, through learning to coach myself and until I moved to pastures new, Derek was always massively supportive and I owe an awful lot to the hard work that he selflessly put in for the benefit of others. RIP Derek, you will be sorely missed    Mark Hoggins

22 years since I finished at Cedars to join the Army and I remember it like yesterday. Derek was an inspiration who encouraged self discipline in a young man who could so easily have strayed down the wrong path, I will always be thankful for your patience with an unruly and cocky boy. RIP Derek!    Billy Owen

Derek’s daughter set up a facebook page in his memory – If anyone would like to post a comment the site is:

Derek will be cremated at Great Yarmouth Crematorium, Oriel Avenue, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth at 3.20pm on Thursday 7th June. Derek’s wife as asked if we would on her behalf invite anyone who knew Derek along to his funeral and then afterwards at The Edge, Lowestoft.

Derek didn’t want any flowers and wanted Donations to be made instead – The donations should be made to The Co-op funeral directors, Police Station Road, Lowestoft, NR32 1NY.  His family have kindly decided that all donations will be passed onto the Cedars Judo Club as this formed such an important part of his life.

In Honour of Derek the club will be organising a memorial event (Training day or Championship) after the summer holidays.  Details will be posted on the website in due course.