Jamilla won Cadets gold and Juniors silver at the 2023 Nationals.

The 2023 Cadet and Junior Nationals were held in Johor Bahru over the weekend of August 19 and 20. We had one player, Jamilla, going for these championships and both her events were scheduled to be held on the 19th. There would be a children's event and team event the next day but she was not involved in that.

When the schedule was first released, it said the competitions would start by 12 noon and be over by 6pm. So, I figured I could make a day trip, fly in to JB in the late morning and take an early evening flight back to KL.

I managed to find a cheap flight on MAS. Amazingly, it was cheaper than AirAsia. A return trip cost only slightly over RM200. I quickly ordered the ticket and was pretty happy with the fact that I could be there to mat-side coach my player and not have to spend a mini-fortune doing so.

Murphy's Law reared its ugly head. Some unforseen circumstances led to long delays, and the competition started at 3pm instead of 12 noon. This could be a problem because my flight was scheduled for 7.45pm. I hoped against hope that the competition would go fast and that I might still be able to catch the flight. But it proved to be wishful thinking.

By 6pm, the Junior event was over but the Cadets event hadn't even started. Most likely the Cadets would end at around 9.30pm or 10pm. Jamilla had gotten silver in the Juniors, which was a good result but she was very disappointed at not getting gold and was crying. I told her to quickly gather herself together as she still had the Cadets to fight, and that one, I was sure she would get gold if she had the right mindset.

If she had won gold in the Juniors, perhaps she would have had the confidence to go through the Cadets without my presence. But given the turn of events, I had to stay for the Cadets. This meant I would have to burn that evening's flight ticket and buy another flight ticket for the next morning. It would also mean I had to book a hotel room too because I would have to stay overnight in Johor Bahru.

Buying tickets in the last minute is not the most economical way to do things. The same with hotel bookings. And because I had not brought any change of clothes, I had to go buy some clothes and some disposable underwear, as well as some basic toiletries and some food from the supermarket. As I was nursing a cough at the time, I made a quick trip to the pharmacy to get some cough medication (I had brought some cough drops from home but not enough, and my cough was getting worse as the night wore on). I didn't bring a phone charger so I had to buy that too. And I also had to buy an extension cord so I could use my laptop in the hotel room to do some work.

I ended up spending around RM1000.00 for the entire trip, which was five times what I had initially expected. It was worth it, of course, because Jamilla did end up winning gold in the Cadets. Coupled with the silver she got in the Juniors, it was a very good result.

KL Judo is a private, independently-run judo club. We are not funded by the state nor do we have a rich patron to support us. We rely entirely on our members' fees to keep the club running.

Recently, we ran two forms of fundraising to help support our efforts to raise a new generation of judokas.

Our maiden crowdfunding effort.

One is a crowdfunding effort called Project Gold, where well-wishers can donate any amount of money (yes, we will gladly accept RM10 or even RM5 or even RM1).

Our first corporate sponsor.

We have also started to reach out to companies for some sponsorship. Our first corporate sponsor is Sports Direct which has kindly provided us some assistance in the form of a cash donation and 20% discount for our athletes when they buy items from Sports Direct. Their support comes at a time when many sports teams are facing a financial crunch, so we really appreciate them coming through for us.