*Cypriot Judoka off to strong start as he eyes the 2023 IJF European Tour*
Congratulations to Cypriot Judoka Sam Sampson, who recently won a bronze medal at the 2023 Liverpool Judo Open after a long day of fighting.
Sam, a UK Cypriot judoka based in London trains at the prestigious Sobell Judo Club in Islington, North London travelled to Liverpool to kick off his year of competitions. Taking on a large pool of opponents in the -81kg category, Sam battled though a long day to take a 3rd place bronze medal.
This result marks Sam’s first international medal for Cyprus after re-qualifying for their national team for the 22-23 season. After a strong start to the year, Sam is now looking to continue his international success as he eyes up competitions in Denmark, Italy and beyond in preparation to rejoin the IJF European Tour after making his debut late last year. The 27 year old aims to bring the same success to one of the largest stages in competitive judo, but is also aware of the challenges that lay ahead. “Of course, the IJF tour is extremely competitive but in some ways, the biggest challenge is actually getting there. European tour events can cost upwards of £1,000 to attend so it is for this reason that I am looking for sponsorships that can help me get to these events and test myself against the very best in my sport”. His coach-stroke-father, Sampson, echoes these worries “When people see judoka, all they see is what happens on the tatami (mat). What they don’t see is the struggle these athletes face when it comes to figuring out a way to actually engage in their sport. There is very limited funding available in judo, so most athletes rely on private sponsorships to fund their endeavours”. Coach Sampson is experienced in these scenarios, having represented Cyprus himself as well and having a hand in coaching other members of their national team including 1984 Los Angeles Olympian Ioannis Kouyialis. However, the duo remain positive “It is what it is. I’ll keep training and doing what it takes to make things happen. I’m just thankful that I have the opportunity to be here and compete” remarked Sam.
If you are interested in reaching out to Sam regarding sponsorship, you can do so by email email@example.com. If you are interested in trying Judo at the Sobell, please visit [www.sobelljudoclub.com](http://www.sobelljudoclub.com)