AN ENNIS judo club is making waves on the international scene thanks to the medal winning exploits of one of its members.

Talented Ciara Cahill was part of the Judo Ireland team that participated in a competition in Poland last month.

Two judo players from Ennis West Judo Club Ciara Cahill and Emer O’Doherty were selected but due to injury a few weeks ago, Emer had to withdraw from the squad. The event was held to mark the 40th anniversary of the Lowicz Judo Club.

Ciara gave a good account of herself winning a bronze medal. On returning to Dublin Airport on Monday, March 18, the group arrived into the hall to a great reception from supporters awaiting the arrival of the grand slam winning Irish women’s rugby team.

The tournament was 15-year-old Ciara’s second visit to Poland in recent years. In April 2010 she was part of the Irish team selected to take part in a special training camp and regional competition.

On the final day of the competition, whilst in the hall, word filtered through that the Polish President, his wife and numerous other military officials and members of government were killed in a plane crash. The competition was cancelled but three years on, Ciara was selected to travel to Poland again.

Her success on the international stage owes much to the training and guidance she has received at the Ennis Judo West Club.

Judo is a sport that teachers self defence, fitness and helps players gain confidence.

Founded by local community garda, Albert Hardiman, the club started in 2006 at the Cloughleigh Community Centre under the RAPID area scheme.

All Judo activities are held in the community centre in Cloughleigh Hall. Both the Cloughleigh committee that runs the hall and Cloughleigh residents have been very supportive and helpful to the club and who are grateful for the support.

In 2008 Ennis West Judo enlisted the assistance of three retired judo players: the now club chairman John Wall (1st Dan-Grading officer/coach); Michael Culliney (1st Kyu/brown belt/coach); and Joseph O’Doherty (1st Kyu/brown belt/coach/referee). They are assisted by Child Protection Officer, Albert Hardiman.

Club members participated in the community games at the weekend.

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A native of Ennis, Ronan Judge completed his Journalism and Communications Diploma course at Griffith College. The Clare People is his first newspaper appointment. Contact Ronan on [email protected]

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