Cassia Riches (left) and Marnie Rainbow were this year’s Debbie Seel Achievement Award winners.                                Photo by Jeanette Riches

Cassia Riches (left) and Marnie Rainbow were this year’s Debbie Seel Achievement Award winners. Photo by Jeanette Riches

Rest time for Invermere’s judokas after busy spring

Local Judo club had busy end of season this year

Summer is here and this is the rest time for most of our judokas. We had a very busy spring. Daniel Traverse and Rebecca Davis participated at the Raymond Katsuda Cup Tournament, a very large junior competition with over 160 juniors participating. Being yellow belts, both Daniel and Rebecca had a Round Robin competition, showing their skill in winning most of their bouts and receiving participation medals. Congratulations, your throwing techniques were well demonstrated. Bob Gadsby and Hermann were there as coaches.

May 8th was the annual Judo Picnic, held at the Mount Nelson Athletic Park. Judokas and parents enjoyed a soccer game followed by hotdogs and other goodies. A short review of the year was given by sensei Hermann Mauthner and then the Debbie Seel Achievement Award was presented to Cassia Riches and Marnie Rainbow for their most improved knowledge of Judo over the year.

May 25-28 , the Canadian Judo Championship was held in Calgary. Unfortunately our B.C. Team member Graham Norquay had to withdraw, due to an injury while training a week before. But he was there to cheer on his sister Emma and the rest of the B.C. Team. Emma, who had the unfortunate draw on the first match out of a group of 19 in this weight category, to meet with the eventual bronze winner and at the second match the gold medallist. Almost all of Invermere’s senseis and some parents were present to cheer on Emma, the Kootenay judokas and the B.C. Team. It was a well organized and exciting tournament, with well known Olympians Nicholas Gill and Antoine Valois-Fortier attending. His Worship Mayor Naheed Nenshi gave an inspiring address to the athletes, volunteers, organizers and Judo Canada. He then was awarded an honorary black belt at which he joked he “would never take it off.”

Most of the judokas go on cross training during the summer; Cassia and Marnie will attend a judo camp in the Okanagan.

2017 is a memorable Judo season, it marks 50 years of Judo in Invermere. An anniversary celebration will be held at the start of the new season in September.

Congratulations to all for a good season and see you on the tatame.