Bright future for Midlothian judo club as it celebrates first birthday

Randori Judo founder Mark Taylor celebrates judo club's first birthday.  Midlothian
Randori Judo founder Mark Taylor celebrates judo club's first birthday. Midlothian

A Gorebridge judoka is celebrating the first anniversary of the opening of his club.

Mark Taylor, a former Commonwealth senior bronze medallist, fulfilled a life long dream when he founded Randori Judo last year and this week it is marking its first birthday.

Initially starting with just one community club in Dalkeith, there are now five clubs in Midlothian with over 160 members of all ages and abilities.

The club has grown rapidly and is now involved in various judo and community projects across Midlothian through Randori Social Enterprises.

“The last year has been a whirlwind for RSE and Randori Judo,” Mark said. “I’m profoundly grateful for where I have managed to get to within this first year. It is the members and families which make Randori Judo.”

Randori Judo is fully inclusive and works with parents of children with additional support needs or medical conditions to ensure that they are able to have fun and join in with their friends and peers.

Mark started Judo when he was eight years old and enjoyed success at Scottish Junior level before winning Scottish titles and British Championship medals. Injury curtailed his career but after a 20-year absence he is back competing again and is pleased to be able to give back to the community through a sport that has brought him so much joy.

Mark added: “I still actively compete as do many of the lead coaching staff. However, I’ve decided to take a break from international competitions and compete at UK based events for the next 12 months to concentrate on Randori Judo.

“It’s great to hear parents giving us positive feedback. They have said their child’s confidence has grown enormously and they are learning lots while having fun.”

The project continues to grow with their latest offering being JudoSaurus, a pre-school judo activity-based class, which was created by Randori Judo’s development coach Rob Wallace.

Mark added: “As a social enterprise RSE are continually looking to secure funding in order to continue to pay back into their communities especially in light of the current climate.”

For more info visit www.randorijudo.com.