This weekend’s ACT International will throw up plenty of challenges for Eaglehawk siblings and judo players Shayann and Caine Stuart.
Competition in the national competition across Saturday and Saturday will involve 10 weight divisions and various age groups.
Shayann, 21, will again compete in the senior lightweight 57kg division.
She was runner-up in the ACT a year ago, and won the title in 2011.
Caine celebrated his 12th birthday last week and will again vie for victory in the under 36kg class. He won gold at last year’s ACT International.
Shayann said matches in Canberra were vitally important towards achieving higher goals in 2013 and beyond.
“This tournament carries the first round of ranking points for the year,” Shayann said.
“A lot of the country’s best will be there trying to earn points towards selection for the world titles in seniors and juniors.”
Despite battling an elbow injury, Shayann fought well to be runner-up in Canberra a year ago.
“The ACT International is where I have usually fought well,” she said before last night’s training session at the Eaglehawk-based Bendigo Judo Academy.
Her lead-up to Canberra included second placing at the Victorian Open.
A highlight of last year was to be the Oceania Championships in Samoa, but illness meant Shayann did not head across to the country to compete.
Away from the judo mat, Shayann is working at Jenny’s Kindergarten.
A hectic day for the judo ace includes morning fitness sessions with the Sophie Hawken-run 3T Fitness, a 20-minute run during lunch break, and then judo training on Monday and Thursday night at the Eaglehawk dojo.
There is also training in Melbourne on Wednesday, and with the state squad on Sundays in Melbourne.
Sensei, head instructor at BJA is Steve Stuart, father of Shayann and Caine.
The Academy in Victoria Street was opened more than 15 years ago and it’s where Shayann and Caine have spent a lot of time working on various holds and throws to prepare for judo competition.
Another of the Academy’s stars and Shayann’s partner, Kim Jolly was aiming to go to the ACT to contest the under 60kg division, but won’t because of work commitments.
“Kim will be aiming to compete at the Queensland Open on the first weekend in March,” said Shayann.
Major goal for Shayann is to compete at the Rio Olympics.