When St Paul’s School moved in 1968, its judo club benefited from gaining a permanent dojo.
At this point, Tony Sweeney began teaching the club. Continuing at first as an after-school activity, it became part of curricular sport during the seventies. Britain’s success at the Munich Olympics gave a boost to enrolment, but the greatest advance of the seventies came when St. Paul’s School Judo Club introduced the first IAPS Prep Schools Championships, which it hosted for the first five years. Shortly after, the HMC Judo event for older boys followed. Both initiatives offered full allowance for age and weight differences and became a major goal in the club’s programme.
St. Paul’s School records show that a talented 18-year-old guest from the Budokwai obliged us by performing at an Open Day display a few days before his first European Championships. His result – a gold medal for Britain – was the first of many. This was Angelo Parisi, a competitor who was one of the best of his generation.
This inspiring example set the tone for the high standard of the club over the years and the value of outside training at the Budokwai, also situated in west London. The result has been that many members have won medals and special trophies at the school level, and continued training at university and afterwards.
Head Coach, Tony Sweeney (9th Dan), represented Great Britain in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and in the World Championships the following year. Competition results include European bronze medals in 1963, ’64 and ’65. In addition to judo at an international level, he is passionate about the infrastructure, advancement and future of judo and has been extremely influential in promoting school and university judo nationally.