Three siblings, as part of the Berwick-based TF Fitness Centre Kids’ Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu team, have returned from an event in California with three medals.
Duncan, Oliver and Rory Anderson, from near Innerwick, travelled to the American Jiu Jitsu Championships in Long Beach and returned with the hat-trick of medals.
It was their first competition this year; spending time training at the Checkmat world headquarters and got to meet professional Jiu-Jitsu instructor and competitor Leo Vieira.
Duncan Anderson only had one opponent to fight, but he became the first youngster from the TF Fitness Centre, and the first ever Scottish child, to win a gold medal at these championships when he submitted his opponent.
Oliver Anderson was next, and with brother Duncan winning gold, Oliver was keen to repeat that success in the three-man division. He won his first fight, which put him in the final. The other two competitors then faced off to determine his opponent.
In the final, he didn’t face the person he had already beaten, and found himself up against it, but he never gave up, always trying his best. However, on this occasion his opponent was just one step ahead and took the win, meaning Oliver won a silver medal – a very hard-earned silver medal too.
Next up was the oldest Anderson brother, Rory, who was in a division of eight competitors. This was Rory’s second time competing at the event, following a bronze medal the year before, and he was hoping to go one better.
He won his quarter final with a great display, but in a similar situation to Matheos, was just edged out by his opponent in a very tight contest, meaning he earned a bronze medal for his efforts.
Coach Thiago Ferreira said: “I am so very proud of all the kids, they all fought like warriors. This project started four years ago and from nothing, we now have five medallists from a small town at the biggest kids’ competition in the world.
“Our preparation for the 2018 championships starts now. We will keep training hard, and after speaking to my coach Marco Canha, he has encouraged the kids to go to London to train if they can, as well as in Berwick.
“The American kids are very strong wrestlers and I think we need to add some wrestling training into our BJJ training, and I will be looking to make that happen.”