Frost stays cool to claim title
BLACK belt Kacie Frost is shy and reserved until she steps onto a judo mat.
When called upon to train or compete, her gentle smile is rapidly replaced by a fierce focus.
That ability to adjust quickly under pressure is what helped the Ipswich Police Citizens Youth Club competitor to achieve a fine feat in her sport.
Frost, 21, is believed to be the first female judo exponent at the Eastern Heights club to receive her black belt.
"She's very hardcore," instructor Mark O'Dempsey said, having been at the club for 30 years.
"She loves judo and she's really dedicated to it.
"The only people that train harder are those right at the top - at Olympic level.
"She's the first girl in the club that's ever got to black belt.
"That's a huge achievement."
Frost completed her black belt training during a five-day competition and grading at the recent state titles at Tallebudgera.
She won a gold medal in her over 78kg weight division, also receiving a silver medal in the kata (patterns) competition. Frost and her kata partner Peter Horsfall received the highest rank on the day.
While modest about her success, Frost is happy she progressed from a background in wrestling to traditional judo.
"I just love the sport," the West Ipswich competitor said.
"It wasn't really about the belt at first but it is a good thing to have that black belt.
"I love the techniques, the competition, just the whole thing."
Apart from the Ipswich PCYC where she works as a gymnastics coach, Frost also trains at Lang Park in Brisbane.
O'Dempsey is one of three regular judo instructors along with Brian Mills and Horsfall. They have all assisted Frost, as has former Ipswich judo Olympian David Wilkinson.
Frost is keen to pursue more competitions in the future.
"I have done a few state titles now. This year's one was the best one," she said, having trained for eight years.
"My next goal is to try and go for my second (dan) black belt."
About 40 juniors are currently involved in the Ipswich PCYC judo program.