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READER LETTER: Coverage of local Judo has helped the sport immensely

Colin Oates
Colin Oates

The recently reported retirement of my son Colin Oates from high level competitive judo has ended a chapter in both of our lives.

In a sport that is not lucrative financially, over the past 23 years, we have had to survive on fundraising, personal investment and, more latterly, funding from UK sport.

We could not have survived without the support of a multitude of editors at the Diss Express, all of whom have published our many reports over the years, not just documenting the rise of Kumo Judo Club and the Oates judo family, but the many other young children who have benefited from the sport of judo.

We saved the Diss Judo Club from extinction many years ago and the town still benefits from our classes as a result of such support.

The constant fight to keep the mats full of children at Lopham and Diss is difficult, but, without the constant coverage given to us by the Diss Express, it would have been a nightmare task.

We hope, as a family, that many readers enjoyed following our travels in our quest to get that Olympic medal and we are so regretful we just missed out in London; it was not for lack of effort.

Many, many thanks to the Diss Express, but we have only closed a chapter. The next stage is hopefully still ahead.

Thank you all.

Howard Oates

Senior Club Coach

Kumo Judo Club

- Send your letters to editorial@dissexpress.co.uk, or by post to Diss Express, Norfolk and Suffolk House, Mere Street, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 4AE. Please provide a name, street name, and a town/village

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