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19801118_Jack Cook made Honorary life member

    Mr. Jack Cook (British Judo Association - 2nd Dan) has been made honorary life member of the Judo Association of Malta. This was announced at a short ceremony held at the Malta Hilton recently at the visit by the team of judokas from the British Schools Judo Association.
    Mr. Anthony Buttigieg de Piro, Hilton General  Manager and Honorary President of the Judo Association, presented Mr. Jack Cook with a souvenir of Malta on behalf of the local Association.
    The souvenir shows the coat of arms of the Maltese Judo Association and contained a short message engraved underneath. In the message the association thanked Mr.Cook for his help and precious advice over the past years.
    A spokesman for the Judo Association said that Mr. Cook has been a great friend of the local Association for more than 8 years. He was instrumental in the association's important acquisition  of a "Tatami" a 9x9 metres judo mat from Britain.
    The Association's national championships as well as international encounters are played on this mat, which is at present the best one available in Malta. Mr. Cook has also judokas several times.
    He was also repensible for organising the British representation during the Anglo-Italian Judo Tournament held in Malta in 1977. Mr Cook brought to Malta several British teams, both boys and girls, and he also brought teams of adults.
    He was also instrumental in organising the visit to Malta of Mr. Dave Starbrooke (British - 6th Dan) the U.K. National Team Manager,  who gave an intensive course for Maltese Judokas.
    Jack Cook also donated the "Jack Cook Trophy" which has been contested at the National Boys Open Championship which the local Judo association has been holding annually since 1976.
    Before the presentation, Mr. Butigieg de Piro, on behalf of the Association thanked Mr. Cook for the support he has been giving to local judokas.
    Mr Cook, in his typical humble way, said he was not expecting the honour and that he was very grateful to the local Judo Association for honouring him in this manner. He said that it had been of great satisfaction for him to be of service to the local Association and that he had enjoyed the cooperation he always found and the appreciation he noticed on the side of the association.
    The Tournament
    The British Schools Judo Association, of which Mr. Cook is an official had just concluded their week's stay in Malta. For this visit they brought over a formidable team of 7 boys and 7 girls to play against young Maltese Judokas. Accompanying the players, were seven officials.
    The British judokas were chosen from among 600,000 young members of the association in the U.K. All had won gold medals in the national events held in Britain. 
    A spokesman for the Maltese association's technical Board emphasised that the local Judo Association has a policy of competing against the best opposition available in order to learn from them.
    The local association has had doubts about the success of this tournament when it was being planned, because some feared that the British opposition would be too strong and the Maltese judokas would be no match for the British youngsters. 
    But in fact, the Maltese judokas played very well against the strong British players. So much so, that all events, except two, ended on time and went on for the whole time allowed.
    On two occasions the Maltese judokas won the event. Mark Saliba (Kami-Kami Marsa sports centre) beat Anthony Lonhurst in 2 mins 15 secs and finally won silver, while Joseph Grima (Tigne - Sports centre) finished his event on time and won by "ysegashi" (superiority) after having scored "Koka".
    Raymond Psaila (Zebbug Judo Club) a very promising young Maltese judoka, only lost his event when after scoring "yuko" he carelessly stepped out of the competition area to be penalized by "chui", an equivalent penalty to "yuko". This gave the match away to his British opponent who had previously scored a "koka".
    Jack Cook commented after the tournament that although the British team won most of the events, the opposition offered by the young Maltese judokas was very good. Mr Cook pointed out that in most cases the Maltese players managed to finish the event and gave their opponents a very hard time. With more training and improved techniques they will not be easy to beat, said Mr.Cook.
    A spokesman for the local Judo Association thanked the Zebbug Judo Club, the Tigne Sports Association the Scouts Judo Group and the Kamekwai Judo Club for participating in the tournament and for helping with the overall organization to make the tournament the sucess it was.
    The spokesman also underlined the assistance received from the Sports Centre and the Ministry of Sports.
    The Association took the opportunity of Jack Cook's visit to organise the "Boys National Championship". Jack Cook had donated the Challenge Trophy for the winner of the open category (no weight limit) who holds the title of National Boy Champion for the year. This year the winner was Raymond Psaila of the Zebbug Judo Club.
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