Judo_festivalDecember 25 - Top flight sides battled it out on the mat at the North West Premier League 4 Sport judo festival, which has been hailed a resounding success by organisers.

Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton joined Bolton, Manchester City, Blackburn, Stoke and Wigan for the event, which featured 82 children who have been introduced to the Olympic sport through satellite judo clubs.

The festival was part of the award-winning and nationally funded Premier League 4 Sport programme where each side creates four satellite clubs which stage badminton, volleyball, table tennis and judo.

Children have embraced the programme across the country and it has enabled inter-club competitions to become a new and exciting fixture on Premier League club calendars.

Liverpool's community sports partnership officer Ste Park was full of praise for the North West event.

"I thought the competition was excellent - our players absolutely loved it," he said.

"The parents were saying this was the best judo event they'd been to and how professional it all was.

"One of them singled out Kerry Finney for her efforts and there was a lot of praise for the event.

"I have to thank Kerry and the British Judo team for organising such an enjoyable and successful competition for the children."

Daniel Griffin, British Judo's children and young people manager, said: "We catered for everyone and we've had some very encouraging feedback.

"We've set a marker for future events in the region and I have to thank the community sports co-ordinators for their continued efforts and assistance in making the day possible."