Huddersfield Judo Club celebrated their 60th anniversary in style with a gala dinner.
Not only that, but they were treated to some sessions by their most decorated member, Dawn Netherwood.
Although she now lives in France, the Masters World Champion flew in to join the celebrations and demonstrate some of her skills to the next generation of club members at the Sports Centre.
Founder member Len Penistone – now 92 – was also at the dinner at the John Smith’s Stadium, when former members and guests gathered to mark the club’s milestone.
“It was just wonderful to see people from the past meeting members of the present, all with a common love of judo and the club,” said coach Steve Lawrence.
“Len Penistone at 92 was able to talk to our newest members, who are eight and nine years old, and it was just a fabulous way to mark the occasion and a fantastic anniversary all round.”
Netherwood presented the club with a trophy she received in the French equivalent of Sports Personality of the Year.
“She thought we could present it to our best up and coming player each year,” added Lawrence.
“It was a wonderful gesture from Dawn, who was delighted to have been invited over, and it just capped off a tremendous weekend of celebrations for us.”
Huddersfield Judo Club was the first of its kind in Yorkshire and was founded by two engineers from David Brown Gears – Len Penistone (an engineering inspector) and John Stanton. After initially starting at the Mechanics Institute, Lockwood, the club had numerous homes such as Paddock, Rook Street in the town centre, Galloway House on Leeds Road, and the RAFA Club, before settling at Huddersfield Sports Centre, where they have been since it was opened in 1972.
Since the early days, the Huddersfield club have become well established as one of the premier clubs in the UK, producing national and international champions and even a world silver medalist in Netherwood.
If anyone is interested in joining, the club train on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8.00 to 9.30pm (seniors) and for juniors, Tuesdays from 7.00 to 8.00pm and Saturdays (12.30).