BY GERALD MUTSVAIRO
HIS grandparents Brian (now late) and Pat Warren are credited for bringing judo into the country when they started a club in Masvingo in 1953.
His mom, the former Zimbabwe Judo Association (ZJA) president Debi Jeans, is a two-time Olympian and double female African judo champion and one of the most loyal servants to the combat sport in the country.
Now 26-year-old Philip Jeans, whose father Austin Jeans, is a well-respected sports medicine physician, is determined to keep the Jeans family’s judo tradition alive having
enjoyed success both locally and on the continent.
Philip is one of the local judokas who were recently named in the provisional national team squad for the All Africa Games to be held in Morocco from August 19 to September 31.
The former St John’s College student, who recently won a gold medal in the heavyweight division at the annual Japanese Ambassador’s Judo Tournament, said he was honoured with
the selection into the national team.
“I feel honoured; Judo is and always has been about discipline than competition,” Jeans told StandardSport in an interview.
“It (judo) teaches many important lessons for combat and life. These lessons and fundamental values become part of the judoka, moulding their abilities and more so their
character. The legacy handed to me is one of a high performing and achieving nature as well as the legacy of being, a respectable, patient, influential and upright member of my
judo club and a great member in the community.” said the judo warrior Philip Jeans.
The career, experiences and the victories that his mother Debi achieved played a pivotal role in shaping Philip’s career in Judo.
And he hopes to achieve the ability to make a positive impact in the art by training, upgrading his skills and motivating others to join the sport and expand the community of
“To those who wish to join judoka whether for three months or 30 years, it will only benefit you in a positive way .The philosophy, training and fellowship is the basics of the growth and expansion of Judo. I will give my very best to ensure that the legacy does not end with me,” he added.
In addition to having collected several medals in almost every ranking or competition he participated in during his junior years, Jeans is also a strength and conditioning
coach at Rolf Valley Gym and Innovate Sport and High Performance Centre in Harare.
In 2015, Philip was invited to the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo, Japan, which is widely acknowledged as the home for judo.
While in Japan, Jeans had a chance to be trained by some living legends of the sport.