Nine contestants from the Under-18 Tsunami Southern Tribes Tūwharetoa Juijitsu Club in Tūrangi have come away with a stack of medals in their first ever attempt in an international event, at the Youth Championships in Long Beach, California USA.
The nine competitors came away with six gold medals and three silvers.
Coach Tau Thompson told Kawekōrero it was a long journey for the kids who performed better than what he ever expected.
"It was six months of training, probably four times a week and as we got to 12 weeks out it was basically every day," says Thompson.
Until July this year, the team had only competed nationally and regionally and exceeded Thompsons expectations, each of the nine members returning home with a gold or silver medal.
"To myself, I thought, well we might come home with one may be a silver or bronze but never did I ever expected to come home with a hundred per cent," says Thompson.