Inverurie’s British Judo Champion Stuart McWatt returned to the Garioch last week in a break from training at the National Judo centre in Walsall.
On his return, his father Stuart (Senior) had a surprise for him, having acquired a new vehicle from his former employers Lawrence of Kemany who have agreed to sponsor the servicing costs of the car.
A delighted young Stuart picked up the car on his return and expressed his thanks to Dad and Lawrence of Kemnay saying, “This will definitely give me a new level of independence in Walsall where I’m based full time with British Judo.
“I’ve had a great experience since joining the GB team and have been to Italy, Spain and Lithuania which were all junior European cups (U21). I lost in a close final in Italy against an Azerbajjan player, then in Lithuania I lost to a Dutch boy who medaled at a Senior Grand Prix, I was winning but then got caught, but it’s good experience for the future.
“Then in the final in Spain I thought I had won but then the decision got changed, then I injured my back and lost.
“I’m 14th currently in the Junior World Ranking list, which I feel having just moved into Junior when I started at Walsall is pretty much on track for where I want to be.
“I’ve also been to Russia, Japan, and Mongolia for training and experience which has been brilliant!. Mongolia was a senior trip but a few juniors from Walsall went as well. It was an 11 day training camp but we had time to do a little bit of sight-seeing around the capital as well.”
Stuart added, “This year the Junior Europeans are in Austria and the Junior Worlds in UAE at the end of the summer. Currently I’m focussing on British Open in three weeks time and hopefully on to Poland a week after that. I have another two years in Junior (Under21) after this one but hopefully I can begin fighting senior events next year.”
Lawrence of Kemnay Director John Macleod, said “We are delighted and proud to help support Stuart by supplying and servicing the car to get him to and from training in Walsall. Before running the local Judo Club full time , Stuart’s father Stuart (Senior) was a long-standing member of the sales team at Lawrence of Kemnay and it has been great to hear how Stuart and the club have progressed through the years.
“Stuart is obviously an exciting talent having had considerable success to date and we wish him well as he works hard towards achieving his goals and look forward to seeing him represent the country at future competitions and hopefully one day at the Olympics.”
Stuart senior added, “When Garioch Judo started up 18 years ago Lawrence of Kemnay donated £500 to buy Judo mats so its good to see that they are still supportive of our sport. We have a new club starting at Kemnay Academy when the schools return after the summer and we continue to grow and gain success as young Stuart moves into a new phase of his Judo career we see others trying to follow in his footsteps.
“We recently had 24 youngsters compete in the BUPA tournament at Motherwell and we returned with an impressive haul of six Gold, three Silver and seven Bronze for our efforts.”