MY TRIP TO LONDON
By BSF President Robin Hyslop
Robin & Prince Michael of Kent
As President of the British Sombo Federation I was invited to a £3,000 a head meal and auction in London, which organised by FIAS President Mr Shestakov his British Co-ordinator was another Russian Living in England Andrew Moshanov. The event was to celebrate 75 year of Sambo, the Russian President Putin supported this event so money could be raised to FIAS Sports Programme in Great Britain obviously a way to harmonise the détente with the British and Russian Governments. The event was held in the luxurious surroundings of Westminster and the auction was a great success with Thousands of pounds being raised although one wonders what will happen with the money?
I was given instructions to meet at a hotel close to where the event was taking place at 4.30pm, I was introduced to some new faces involved in the Sambo world. Just after 6.00pm there was a cavalcade of 10 black c500 Mercedes cars which all the guests would use to get to Kensington Palace, after most of the guests were on their way I had to ask as to when any cars would be coming back, in typical Russian fashion I was told “I don’t Know” after half an hour I had to explain that I was the President of British Sambo! By this time some of the others had phoned me to see if they were getting a car sent for them, confusing as it seems I managed to get a couple of cars to come back for me and then to pick up the others, we arrived at the palace as the demonstration of Sambo was about to begin, Champagne was being served.
Among the guests were mining Billionare Alexi Mordashov, Iron ore magnet Andrei Klyamko, President of Russian Rail Vladimir Yakunin, Olympic Gold medallist Tessa Sanderson, City broker Tim Lewin and Tory MP Elanor Laing o to name a few.
There was a very good demonstration of Sambo by World and European Champions flown over for the occasions, I would have thought that the organiser would have shown the demonstration in the correct attire and why did they not use British Samboist quite an insult to the BSF , the first of many. Next there was a special presentation for the British people who were pioneers of Sambo in GB they were Matthew Clempner, Richard Barrowclough World Bronze 1973/74 , Richard Kenny, Steve Pullen World Bronze 1966, John Lawrence World Bronze 1974 . Most of you who have done Sambo or Sombo as we call it in GB will never have heard of these people but they are well respected Judoka, who for a few years in the mid 1970’s organised a few CAMBO events for the British Wrestling Association. The BWA used the word CAMBO rather then the racist word SAMBO. By the end of the 1970’s Cambo/Sombo/Sambo had died. Interesting enough two other people were missing from this honours list one was Rob Paine who organised most of the events and brought in the first Sombo Jackets and Martin Clarke who like Matthew Clempner was a regular competitor at these events. These people had the good fortune to have all their accommodation, travel and courtesy car to the venue paid for by the event co-ordinator. As President of the British Sombo I received nothing and was told I was not entitled to a courtesy car yet another insult to the BSF. Interestingly FIAS, which was formulated in 1985 with the exception of Matthew Clempner none of those presented with awards, have never been members of an organisation belonging to FIAS and have done nothing for Sombo (Sambo) since the late 1970’s? Considering the event was organised by FIAS and some other organisation calling themselves the Commonwealth Sambo Federation I would have thought they would have at least honoured those Brits who have promoted FIAS
In fact let’s actually look at who and what has sustained British Sombo, first it was Burt Jacobs Chairman of the British Wrestling Association and leading member of Federation International Luttes Association FILA, in 1985 the World Games was to be held in London and Sambo/Sombo was included in the programme which the BWA were responsible for. As the BWA had no one interested Burt contacted Martin Clarke to organise a Team, which he did. As player manager he won Silver but more importantly the team he selected won all told 7 medals, 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 5 Bronzes and three 4th places. The best British Team result in the history of British Sombo. In 1986 the BWA gave permission to annex them from British Wrestling and so Martin Clarke formed the British Sombo Federation. On that at original committee Martin his wife and Alan Kontozi are still actively involved that’s a period of 27 years service.
I became involved in 1989 and have organised many tournaments and attended countless World Championships all at my own expense, who else has done the same?
Since 1986 the BSF have sent a team to every World Championships the BSF has won 35 World Medals in that period stretching all classes Men/ Women/Junior/Cadet. It has organised 22 British Opens 10 English Opens and 10 Scottish Opens. It organised the European Championships 1989 and World Championships 1992 in Herne Bay under the leadership of Martin Clarke. At the World Championships St Petersburg Russia in 2008 I was awarded a Silver medal for Services to Sambo, Colin Carrott, Paul Sawyer and John Clarke were awarded the Bronze Service award, Martin Clarke was awarded the Gold Medal plus he was awarded the FIAS Sambo Star for being one of the 8 most influential people in the World of Sambo this coupled with being the only FIAS Sambo GrandMaster in the UK makes him unique.
Martin with help from myself and the BSF EC have kept Sombo/Sambo going in the UK and for the UK Governing Body to be treated in such a way and so disrespectfully is a disgrace.
Comments From BSF Chairman Martin Clarke
For sometime now I have been ostracised by the new FIAS Regime because of my outspoken comments on its organisation. So it came as no surprise that Robin, as BSF President would be invited to this fund raising and no one else from the BSF. Yet it comes as shock the way he has been treated by FIAS Staff employees. The awards given to the Judo men who dabbled in Sombo for a few years in the mid 1970’s again came as no surprise especially as we were informed in advance it was meant to be a rather childish snub to all the work the BSF has put into Sombo since 1986. FIAS Employee Andrew Moshanov selected the Judoka who are well respected in GB. Moshanov is no friend to British Sombo and was highly unlikely to recommend any one from the British Sombo Federation and as he has only been involved Sombo and FIAS since November 2011, he would have no idea of the history of the Sport in GB and most probably struggles with the concept of a Constituted Amateur Body so revered in Great Britain. I am sure the FIAS President Shestokov would not have been so petty minded but again as he has only been involved with FIAS since 2009 he also may not be aware of the various countries histories and involvement with FIAS having to rely on correct information from his employees, which is sadly lacking.
As the Chairman of the BSF I have to put the interest of British Sombo Players first before my own feelings this I have done and in the last few months I have had discussion with Lord Simon Reading President Commonwealth Sambo Association (on Robins invitation it said Commonwealth Sambo Federation this was a mistake), Kerrith Brown Chairman British Judo Association plus 2 potential Sponsors.