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Accugas, Edinburgh Judo Club boost athletes’ skills at master class weekend

By Samuel Ifetoye
05 February 2020   |   4:15 am
Judo players in Akwa Ibom State were at the weekend exposed to the techniques of world and Olympics medalists by coaches from the world renowned Edinburgh Judo Club in Scotland.

Edinburgh Judo Club coach, Sarah Clark; CEO of Savannah Petroleum, Andrew Knott; President, Nigeria Judo Federation, Timothy Nsirim; Edinburgh Judo Club coach, Billy Cusack and Head, Stakeholder Relations and Communications, Savannah Petroleum Nkoyo Etuk, at the judo master class sponsored by Accugas Limited, a subsidiary of Savannah Petroleum, in Uyo…at the weekend.

Judo players in Akwa Ibom State were at the weekend exposed to the techniques of world and Olympics medalists by coaches from the world renowned Edinburgh Judo Club in Scotland. The event was held at the Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

The two-day tutorial, tagged: “Master class weekend, a brainchild of Accugas, a subsidiary of Savannah Petroleum Company, focused on key concepts and techniques, using teaching methods specifically aimed at younger players for the junior session and the standing judo and groundwork sections for the senior session conducted by coaches Billy Cusack and Sarah Clark.

Speaking on the occasion, Cusack, who coached judokas to European, Grand Slam, world, Olympics medal successes, said he saw potentials at the event.

“I see how fast, strong and athletic these boys and girls are and I see a huge potential in them. As soon as a child joins my club, I check the ankles, physique and the rest. These children are strong and fast as any child I have seen anywhere in the world,” he said.

“I have always had this motivation and I then created a group of some young players who are from Edinburgh, Scotland, the first ever European champion, first world champion, first Commonwealth champion and Andrew is one of the guys. I am sure he has been able to apply what he learnt in his business modules,” he said.

Buttressing Cusack’s point, Clark added that the attitude of the judokas in the junior and senior sessions was impressive.

“I saw exactly what Cusack noticed because we spoke to each other. Also for me is the attitude of the judokas to learn in training. Learning what we taught them and the smiles that come with it as well. It is a fantastic experience,” she said.

Speaking on the judo master class, the Head, Stakeholder Relations and Communications, Nkoyo Etuk, expressed delight collaborating with the Edinburgh Judo Club, Nigeria Judo Federation and Wakuta Judo Club for the event.

“Judo is not just a sport, it is education and for us we know the sport is not common in Akwa Ibom, not even in Nigeria. We want to ensure that our kids are well groomed in the sport so that we can extend the values of judo to the society.

“We are not going to stop here, as far as judo is concerned. We are looking at the kids, and we’ve seen potentials. We know how far we are going to go with them,” she said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Savannah Petroleum, Andrew Knott, stated that the firm hoped that the master class would help nurture talents that would represent Nigeria in the future at major international judo events and competitions such as the Olympic games.

“There is a lot of stuff to do, to think about. I am happy so many of you guys came out. Please tell your friends, your family, all the judo players and potentials.

“The next time we do this, we want to see four times more people on the mat. We really want to use this as a catalyst to start inspiring people, and I really hope in 20 years time, you will send me photos, send Billy photos, even David, let them really look into you that they’ve inspired you to win Olympic medals in the nearest future,” Knott said.

Secretary to the State Government of Akwa Ibom, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, thanked Accugas and Edinburgh Judo Club for the kits donated to the judokas at the two-day event, he said, “with this sport encouragement in Akwa Ibom State, we are going to build a very health young able men who are alert, alive, spontaneous, discipline, physically fit, and who keep to time. I wish you all the very best.”

Also speaking at the event, president of the Nigeria Judo Federation, Prince Timothy Nsirim, said, “I am overwhelmed with what I have seen here and if I have to advertise your company, I will advertise you very well. I am highly delighted with the Savannah Group.”