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Honour for couple selected to officiate judo in London
8:00am Friday 29th June 2012 in Sport
WARRINGTON couple Graham and Anne Bayley will reach the pinnacle of their sporting achievements at London 2012 after being selected as national technical officials for the judo events.
The Warrington Judo Club members, of Silverdale Road, have considerable experience of major championships, including the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002, and are now counting down the days until the opportunity of a lifetime at a home Olympics.
Graham, aged 61, is a fourth-dan black belt and senior national referee, while his wife Anne, aged 60, is a competition controller and both will play key roles when the judo action runs at ExCel in London’s Docklands area from July 28 to August 3.
“We’re getting quite excited now,” said Graham, a maintenance assistant at Westy Hall Care Home.
“As senior officials we were invited to apply for the positions about two years ago and been through the processes involved.
“We attended the test event in December last year and now we’re on countdown. We’ve also received an invite to the opening ceremony which came as a nice surprise.”
Warrington Judo Club head coach Graham’s Olympics role will be marshalling players from the warm-up zone and through the judo gi (suits) control area, preparing competitors to be ready for mat action at the allotted time.
Club secretary Anne, a receptionist with educational training providers EEF in Hollins Green, will be in the arena carrying out duties such as timekeeping and recording scores and penalties on behalf of the referees.
Graham started playing judo at Lymm Grammar School in 1966 and has been a member of Warrington Judo Club for 35 years, with Anne getting involved along the way as a table official initially.