Russians reply to call for Putin to be patron of Ulverstone Judo Club

 Junior head coach Jamie Dodd, head coach Chris Palmer and club member James Saltmarsh with the signed photograph sent to them by Russian president Vladimir Putin. Picture: Brodie Weeding
Junior head coach Jamie Dodd, head coach Chris Palmer and club member James Saltmarsh with the signed photograph sent to them by Russian president Vladimir Putin. Picture: Brodie Weeding

One of the most powerful leaders in the world has given a nod to a judo club in North-West Tasmania.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked in 2013 to be head patron of the Ulverstone Judo Club.

The club finally received a response from the Russian embassy this month and was sent a signed photograph of Putin.

Putin hasn’t said whether he’d take up the offer to be club patron but head judo coach Chris Palmer was chuffed the request had been acknowledged.

Mr Palmer said he wanted Putin to be patron because he was “one of the good movers and shakers in judo”.

“He's one of the most powerful men in the world and when he goes to a competition in a foreign country, the whole thing goes up another level,” Mr Palmer said.

Ulverstone Judo competitors John Deacon, Chris Palmer, Jamie Dodd, James Saltmarsh and Terry von Bibra could add Russian President Vladimir Putin as the head patron to their club.

Ulverstone Judo competitors John Deacon, Chris Palmer, Jamie Dodd, James Saltmarsh and Terry von Bibra could add Russian President Vladimir Putin as the head patron to their club.

Mr Palmer has also invited Putin to Tasmania for a barbecue at the club.

“The embassy officials said he is a bit busy. I said we will look after him,” Mr Palmer said.

The strange request was inspired by a 2013 trip to Brazil for the World Judo Championship where Ulverstone Judo Club members saw Putin cheering on the Russian squad.

Since that competition, the club has sent several letters to Putin and designed judo shirts that feature his picture.

They also gave former Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie a judo tunic and asked her to get it signed by Putin during his visit to Brisbane for the 2014 G20 Summit.

Mr Palmer said these initiatives have all helped raise the profile of judo and the Ulverstone club.

The signed photo of Putin will be framed and hung at the Ulverstone Judo Club.

- LACHLAN BENNETT

This story Russians reply to call for Putin to be patron of Ulverstone Judo Club first appeared on The Advocate.