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Girton Parish News - February 2001

The Front Page.

Girton Judo Club

Sport for Kids

Anybody supporting the educational policy towards sport in schools in this country over the last two or three decades should look in at the Girton Judo Club. You'll probably change your mind!

Forget the current craze for American wrestling e.g. WWF now swamping the television, bedrooms and playgrounds. Chris Jericho, Y2J or the "Rock", should "get a life" and try our classes for a taste of the real thing!!

However, the name Judo literally means "Gentle Way", and that's the way it's being taught: gently and safely with the long-standing traditions of Judo, promoting good sportsmanship, discipline, and respect to others regardless of age, sex, ethnic origin, religious or social background.

On top of that, our members are getting fit, flexible, learning to breathe, co-ordinate, but most importantly though, they're HAVING FUN.

In excess of 35 boys and girls (Judoka) are now regularly practising this Olympic Martial Art on Monday nights 6.30 to 8.00pm in the pavilion (Dojo). 

Most now have fresh new white suits (Judogi), and in the next few weeks national and area coach Terry Welham will be "grading" them to measure their progress. 

The club has been so successful we have outgrown the mats (Tatami) bought by the Parish in November 2000. They are now in the process of buying more to provide a separate area for the very young ones (minimum age for newcomers now 6), and to provide more room for our older players who are really coming on well, some of whom are "naturals". Many thanks to the Parish for their confidence and support of the club. Outside of the Dojo, in December, several of our members visited the Neal Adams Club in Coventry for some additional Judo on a fun day out. On 4th February 2001, we will be entering many of our members into the Regional School Championships at the Leys School. 

We are now members of the British and Cambridge Schools Judo Associations (thanks to Mrs. Baker at the Glebe for her support here), who supply our coaches.

Terry Welham recently re-awarded parent supervisors Keith Benton and Bob Killick with Judogi and their original green belt gradings not worn by them since their childhood to teenage playing days at the Sakura Bana Club in the Beaconsfield Hall, Gwydir Street, Cambridge. That's dating us!! - anyone else remember the club?

On the same evening, Terry also presented another of our coaches, Sandy Boyd with the next stage of his Black belt grading, the 2nd Dan. We were delighted and very honoured that Terry should have chosen our club to present this award to Sandy; it reflects his long term coaching and administrative commitment to Judo locally, particularly as Secretary to the Cambridge Schools Judo Association.

This current session runs until 12th February, recommencing after the half term break on 26th February.  Hopefully our new mats will be in place by then, which means we will be able to accommodate more players. We would like to see more girls coming along to join our regulars, as well as youngsters outside of the village from other schools, and what about some of you older ones perhaps at IVC?

You'll all be welcome, why not pop along any Monday to have a look. And  "phone a friend"!!

Keith Benton

Message from St Andrew's

Ernest Shackleton

In the last two or three years there has been a huge resurgence of interest in the Explorer Ernest Shackleton, who  led an Antarctic expedition attempting to reach the South Pole in 1914 aboard the Endurance.   

Ninety seven miles short of the pole, with their ship trapped and finally crushed in an ice flow in the Weddell Sea,  the 29-man expedition had to turn back in what has become one of the most epic journeys in exploration history. Against all odds the crew survived and Shackleton's success in bringing his men safely home became his legacy.

The tip of this iceberg of interest has included: a television programme, more than a dozen new publications, an  attempt in 2000 to recreate the last part of the journey (updated daily on an internet website), and even a leadership development seminar based on Shackleton's exploits.

What leadership lessons does Shackleton have to offer? There are two that stand out the most.
Many people think loyalty is something  that the members of an organisation owe the leadership... but loyalty always starts at the top. Shackleton  understood this as well as anyone.

Also Shackleton was frequently wrong in his judgment, but his crew continually put absolute faith in his leadership - even when they saw he was wrong. Why? 

The answer is that all the members knew with certainty that in the end Shackleton was motivated purely  by a desire to bring them safely home ... He also always told the bitter truth.

The quality of his leadership inspired the same attitudes and actions in others. Diaries of expedition members attest  to  an extraordinary faith in their leader throughout the two death-defying years it took to return safely.
In his own diary, Ernest Shackleton told of the time when their food supplies were exhausted save for one last ration of hardtack, a dried sort of biscuit, that was distributed to each man. 

Some of the men took snow, melted it, and made tea while consuming their biscuit. Others, however, stowed the hardtack in their food sacks, saving it for a last moment of hungry desperation.

The fire was built up, and weary, exhausted men climbed into their sleeping bags to face a restless sleep, tossing and turning. 

Shackleton was almost asleep when out of the corner of his eye he noticed  one of his most trusted men sitting up in his bag, looking about to see if anyone was watching.

Shackleton's heart sank within him as the man began to reach toward the food sack of the man next to him. Then he watched as the man opened the food sack, took his own hardtack, and put it quietly into the other man's sack.

Jesus  said,  "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." (John  chapter 15 vv 12,13) 

Jesus  lived out this commandment himself. Shackleton was one who walked in his footsteps; we are constantly challenged to do the same.

Rob Mackintosh.

Message from the Baptist Church


That was the question that a newspaper editor asked me a few weeks ago for a feature he was writing to mark the anniversary of Queen Victoria’s death on 22nd January 1901.  Although it is often jokingly said that history has no future to it, nostalgia is very much alive in the twenty-first century.  Where would magazines and television schedules be without references to previous ages?  “The 1940s' House” on Channel Four and ITV’s series on the “Second World War in Colour” are testimonies to the popularity of looking back to a previous age.  Indeed the new year started with BBC2 devoting several hours to looking back to the Victorian era.  So when asked the question, it was easy to look back to some of the achievements and monuments of those days. 

There is always a danger though, that in looking back to a previous age the view is perceived through rose coloured spectacles.  I am sure that was what W.S. Gilbert had in mind when he made Ko-ko sing, in the little list of people who would not be missed, “idiots who praise in enthusiastic tone, all centuries but this and every country but their own”.  It is all too easy to praise up some things while forgetting others.  There were many aspects of Victorian life that were shocking; slavery, poverty in our inner cities, small boys being sent up chimneys and other children working long hours in dangerous environments to name but a few.  We might look back to a “golden age”, yet none of us would want to regain those evils.  

Yet something we would do well to recapture in our present generation came out of those horrors; the tenacity of many people who persistently, through long years, campaigned for change.  People like William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson in the battle against slavery, Dr. Barnardo and George Müller in the fight against child poverty on our streets.  Another person who was involved in many different campaigns was Lord Shaftesbury.  Most of us know Shaftesbury’s memorial in London, yet probably do not realise it is a memorial to him.  It stands in Piccadilly and is the statue of Eros, randomly shooting arrows of love into the world.  Without being a statue of the man, it sums up Shaftesbury’s life, for he tried to do good in all sorts of different situations.  
Shaftesbury himself did not have the easiest of lives, he was at times a depressive, yet he put self aside and from a position of authority and influence within government he was prepared to stand by his beliefs and risk his own status for the sake of helping others.   

Shaftesbury and many others like him were evangelical Christians driven by their conviction that Jesus’ second coming was imminent and they needed to do their part to prepare the world for that day.  Their tenacity to keep going and their conviction that they must act before the Lord's return are things that we would do well to regain in our present age.
Phillip Staves

Message from the Girton Glebe School

On 22nd January we held an exhibition to display the proposals for our Safer Routes to School Initiative.  Our targets are to increase the numbers of children walking or cycling to school, thereby reducing the number of cars being used and improving the environment for everyone.

Our plans include safety measures on their routes to school as well as improvements to paths and cycle sheds within the school grounds.  The installation of a pelican crossing is part of this plan.

We were so pleased at the response to our exhibition when so many of you came to see the proposal.  Over 70 questionnaires were filled in and many interesting views shared.

Our thanks particularly go to Andrew Childs, the project leader, and Mike from County Transport for their help and expertise in working with the school, and to all members of Girton Glebe Home/School Group, chaired by Tim Sparks and Diane Fenner, who have worked so hard over the past eighteen months to put the bid together.

Thank you also to Governors, the Parish Council and our County Councillor John Reynolds, for their help in developing this community project.

Susan Baker, Headteacher

Last updated: 3rd February 2001