FATHER-daughter judo fighters Chris and Amelie Gautier have both returned home gold medallists from National Judo Tournament earlier this month.
Yuukan’s Sensei Chris, 43, won the masters division and Amelie, 10, took out the junior girls division of the four-day tournament.
Chris has been competing in judo for more than 30 years and his daughter Amelie is quickly following in her father’s footsteps having grown up around the sport.
“She has been on the mat doing judo since she was around four years old,” Chris said.
“She loves it and she’s grown up around the sport.”
The tournament took place at Wollongong’s Win Entertainment Centre over the June long weekend and Bawley Point Yuukan Judo Club entered four competitors to this year’s event.
Amelie was the youngest competitor from the local club and the event was the second time she has competed on the national stage.
“She fought well and really hard,” said Chris.
“She had to watch her weight going into the tournament because you fight according to weight division but it wasn’t too bad.”
Amelie has competed at many tournaments including Victorian School Championships in 2010, ACT, NSW and VIC International Open and Country Championships where she medalled.
She has is known for not only being a strong competitor but a very vocal supporter of her fellow Yuukan members during competition.
The year 5 Shoalhaven Anglican School student couldn’t wipe the smile from her face when she spoke to The Times about her first national gold medal success.
“I enjoyed the competition - it was great,” Amelie said.
“My favourite moment was standing up there getting my gold medal.
“I think my favourite fight was the last one, a girl from South Australia.
“It was good because it was a challenge; I had to use a lot of technical moves to get any points.”
Chris has competed at national level in the past and represented Australia in the Oceania’s Competition where he received a silver medal.
He started the Yuukan Judo Club in Bawley Point in 2009 and has recently returned to the mat for the masters competition.
While his focus as a sensei is to teach all judoka sound techniques and discipline he is enjoying his current success in the veterans category.
“When you get into masters the competition is slightly easier,” he said
“There was some good competition, I had to fight a fifth dan in one fight.”
Yuukan member Blake Nolan, 18, also competed in the National Tournament taking home a bronze medal in the junior men's division and fourth in kata.