Australian judo team selected for Youth Olympic Festival18 October 2012
Australia’s brightest young judo stars are set to shine at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF), with a team of 10 girls and 9 boys selected today.
Three selection trials were held throughout the year with the best teenage athletes across the country vying to earn a spot at the prestigious event to be in held in Sydney from 16 – 20 January next year.
Selected to compete in the men’s under 60kg division is 15-year-old Josh Katz. The young judoka from Sydney’s Hills District has had a sensational year in competition, taking out the Oceania Continental Union Championships in both the under 17 and under 20 divisions.
“I think it will be a really good building block, a good start for me and a chance for me to build an international name for myself,” Katz said. “It’s really good to be selected for the AYOF, I’m excited to compete against athletes from other countries.”
In addition to the competition, Katz is really looking forward to the atmosphere of a multi-sport event and the chance to follow in the footsteps of his parents. His mother Kerrye was selected to compete for Australia at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games where women’s judo was a demonstration sport.
“I often ask mum about the Olympics,” Katz said. “I ask her about how they lived and what it was like and it definitely motivates me to get there. “
Kerrye and her husband Rob are both judo coaches and have high hopes for their son.
“It will be a fantastic stepping stone,” Kerrye said of her son’s selection to the AYOF. “He is looking towards the 2020 Olympics and the AYOF will be a really good testing ground for him for next year’s Under 17 World Championships and beyond.”
Competing in the men’s under 66kg and under 73kg divisions respectively will be twins Jordan and Anthony Kouros.
The double act, whose family hail from Greece, now call the Illawarra region home and have been excelling at judo since taking it up as an after school activity at Unanderra Public School.
“The boys have been very talented from a young age,” coach Ben Broadhead said. “Judo has given them discipline and direction and their results are indicative of the hard work they have put in.”
“They usually fight in the same division and they are very competitive in training,” Broadhead said of the twins. “The sibling rivalry is really strong and it is a large part of why they are so successful. They look out for each other, it’s mutually beneficial.”
For the Kouros brothers, selection to the AYOF is a vital first step to promising international careers.
“Going to the AYOF will mean a lot to them,” Broadhead said. “From a coaching and personal development perspective, it’s a huge step and will give them great experience to go on to bigger and better things.”
The AYOF takes place in Sydney from 16-20 January 2013. 1700 athletes from 30 countries will compete in 17 sports.
The Australian judo team for the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival:
Josh Katz - u/60
Daniel Rivet - u/60
Jordan Kouros - u/66
Cameron Leishman - u/66
Boris Amromin - u/73
Anthony Kouros - u/73
Dylan Voncina - u/81
Samuel Dobb - u/81
Aaren Eobob - o/81
Veronica Kopecny - u/48
Alexis Mason - u/48
Maeve Coughlan - u/52
Teagan Kimeklis - u/52
Hayley Glass - u/57
Ellen Wright - u/57
Alicia Congram - u/63
Salome Broche - u/63
Laura Buissink - o/63
Ndebele Moyle-Vertue - o/63
Australian Olympic Committee