CUJC has a yearly exchange programme with Helsinki and Marburg judo clubs, and last Summer it was Helsinki’s turn to host. Many Cambridge members had never participated in any of the exchanges before, and very few had been on the last visit to Helsinki, so it was a great new experience for a lot of us. The format for the week was that every day we would (a) do a couple of hours of tough judo training together, and (b) do something “cultural” together. Cultural activities ranged from sightseeing by bicycle, through Finnish Tango and Finnish baseball (both of which, in general, we weren’t very good at), to spending a night in a holiday cottage on the shore of Lake Tuusulanjӓrvi. And of course evenings were spent socialising with our German and Finnish friends, and putting our Tango skills to the test. It was an absolutely fantastic trip – it’s always good to train hard with new people and learn new judo techniques, and everyone’s friendliness and enthusiasm made the hours off the mat just fly by. The only thing we could have wished for was some more time to sleep! Next Summer Cambridge is hosting, and we’ll have to work very hard to make sure the coming exchange is as good as the last one.
Rob Blackburn – President