Easton is back in black

NEW STRIPES: Tinka Easton shows off her new black belt for judo.

NEW STRIPES: Tinka Easton shows off her new black belt for judo.

WATCH out, the Shoalhaven has a new black belt in town.

Berry’s Tinka Easton received this honour for judo on the weekend of June 28 when she successfully passed the criteria set by a panel of black belts in Sydney.

The Shoalhaven Heads Bushido Judo Club member and four time Australian champion and Oceania champion had been a brown belt for three years, but said it was time to make the step up.

Before black belts the players are graded at their clubs, however despite the step up, Easton said she was confident going into the grading.

“We had to master throws and techniques. There is this single kata set of throws that you do for the black belt grading,” Easton said.

Easton said she felt fantastic after receiving black belt, but will now set her sights on a second dan black belt.

It was an amazing achievement for the 18-year-old, who badly broke her leg competing in the final of an international women’s competition in Sydney just nine months ago.

“In the final I just got thrown really badly,” she said.

However since then the Bomaderry High School student has worked hard to regain her fitness and competition technique.

Easton started judo when she was 10 and is the first female to achieve a black belt at Bushido Judo Club South Coast.

Coach Bruce Fagan could not speak more highly of his student, who he described as the most prolific judo player in the history of Bushido Judo Club Shoalhaven Heads.

“There are not enough accolades to heap on Tinka, who has had injuries, and to have the intestinal fortitude and be so committed to such a physical, mental and individual hard sport is fantastic,” he said.

“Many judo players drop out of the sport because of the demand for consistency, commitment, loyalty and respect. Tinka has overcome all these adversities to prove that it is possible.

“After eight years with the club and a family that has also committed their time for Tinka, this classic moment has eventuated.”

With a goal to compete in an Olympic Games, Easton is considering a move overseas at the end of the year to train at some of the best judo training venues in Europe.

Anyone interested in learning judo can call 4448 8494 or call in at the Shoalhaven Heads Community Centre from 5.30pm on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.