On the 5th -7th of January 2024 Sussex Judo sent a squad of 12 promising young athletes from 5 different Sussex judo clubs to Koksijde in Belguim for an international training camp. For almost all the athletes this was their first taste of a full training camp and for most their first trip abroad with their judo.

The Koksijde judo camp is very well known and this year featured athletes from Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Hungary along with other British judo clubs. During the 4 judo sessions taking place on the 1200m2 mat, around 400 athletes were training who ranged from promising young yellow belts to full-time international Olympians.

Sessions consisted of hard 4-minute randori practices of which the team would have completed at least 30 fights each across the weekend, and technical master classes where they could learn from international coaches and pass techniques back to their own clubs.

All 12 of the Sussex athletes performed exceptionally well, impressing both the Sussex coaches and other International coaches with their judo ability and professional attitude. All the players fully completed the camp despite being tired and taking bumps and knocks from the high volume of randori and still had smiles on their faces on the way home.

This was also an opportunity for the Sussex athletes to make new friends from other nations and clubs, whilst also growing closer as a squad and building the team ethos. Some of them enjoyed the trip so much that they were already asking if they could return next year.