Melinda Howe-Jones (Left), Karina Rothacker (Middle) and Finn Rothacker (Right) will follow the way of the warrior in Osaka, Japan later this year.
Melinda Howe-Jones (Left), Karina Rothacker (Middle) and Finn Rothacker (Right) will follow the way of the warrior in Osaka, Japan later this year.

Local judo trio get trip of a lifetime

COFFS Coast judo trio Melinda Howe-Jones, Karina Rothacker and Finn Rothacker will travel to Japan in July to train in a Dojo in Osaka, Japan.   

Howe-Jones will represent Toormina's Kuzushi Judo Club, while Karina Rothacker and Finn Rothacker will represent Woolgoolga's Woopi Warriors Judo Club.

The exchange is one of many over the years between the Australian Judo Union and traditional clubs in Kobe, near Osaka.   

Toormina's Kuzushi Judo club Sensei, Cliff Illingworth, was excited about the prospect of the Coffs Coast being represented in an international Judo tournament and was reflective over the growing relationship between Australian and Japanese Judo relations.  

"Exchange trips between Australia and Japan, the home of judo, help to develop both cultural relationships as well as fostering a deeper understanding of how judo can positively influence the way you live your life," Illingworth said.  

"The representatives will live with a Japanese family, share their life and culture, be taken to judo training and go sightseeing.

"LIving in a Japanese Family is a really special opportunity as the Japanese are very hospitable people. It is hoped that this experience will strengthen relationships with Judo, Japan and the Australian Judo Union.

"It is a real honour and we know thay will all be excellent ambassadors for Australia."   

Illingworth continued with saying that the guys have been training as hard as ever before going to the traditional homelend of Judo.   

"Its not actually a championship, but more like a reciprocal agreement between judo in Japan and Australia," he said.

"No matter what level of player you are, the opportunity to train in a Japanese Dojo and see the art of Judo is revered for all Judo players."



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