Dutch judoka get to grips with life as performance athlete during annual University of Bath visit

20 November 2016

Promising young judoka from the Netherlands have been experiencing life on an elite training programme after spending the week with the performance squad at the University of Bath.

The students from Judo Yushi, based in Haarlemmermeer near Amsterdam, trained alongside Olympians Ben Fletcher and Emmanuel Nartey plus Commonwealth Games medalists Megan Fletcher and Gary Hall in the Sports Training Village dojo during their five-day visit.

It was the third year running that Judo Yushi had travelled to Bath for the training camp and lead coach Barry Piroli said it had once again proven of enormous benefit to his judoka.

“We have a young squad and it is a good opportunity for them to meet other judo players and experience other styles in randori [sparring], so they can learn new skills and become better judo players,” he said.

“What is so important as a judo player is to take part in as many randori as possible against all different styles of opponents. Taking on someone from England is completely different to facing someone from Russia, they have different styles and you have to learn how to deal with whatever you may face.

“The Dutch judo style is also a bit different, so the Team Bath players have to adapt while we are here. It is a new challenge for everyone and helps everyone become a better player.”

As well as the annual visit, Piroli stays in regular contact with Team Bath High Performance Judo Coach Juergen Klinger for advice on training techniques.

The bonds between the University and the Netherlands have been strengthened this year by Kevin Snyders joining the Team Bath programme for a three-month period, which started in September.

Klinger said: “It is always a pleasure to welcome Judo Yushi to the University of Bath. We have built up a good relationship over the past three years and we look forward to that link growing stronger in the future.”

For more information about the judo programme at the University of Bath, visit www.teambath.com/judo.

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