There is a lot going on at the judo club this spring!
Three talented judokas represented the Invermere Judo Club at the Edmonton International Judo Championships on March 12th and 13th. Our two up-and-coming competitors were Cassia Riches and Marnie Rainbow. They were joined by their teammate, Graham Norquay, who has competed at this tournament in previous years.
The Edmonton International is an exciting event. It is one of the larger judo tournaments in Canada and is held each year at the Ice Palace at West Edmonton Mall. A very large number of competitors had travelled from across the country to participate in it. At the senior level, many judokas competed against international opponents. There could have been up to 10,000 people watching the sport over the course of the two-day tournament.
For Cassia Riches and Marnie Rainbow, it was their first time competing at this event. At their level, it is a round robin with all competitors receiving participation medals. Each had four competitors in their U12 divisions. Cassia and Marnie each came up against opponents with higher rankings. Both girls fought hard and with determination, and they applied the techniques we had been working on throughout the year. It proved to these judokas that all their hard work through the year has made much improvements to their judo. We are proud of their performances.
Graham Norquay competed in the U16 Men -38kg division. He was very well-matched against two competitors in his group whom he had competed against throughout this year. Graham fought very well and won the gold medal in his division. He used his determination and the new techniques he has been working on diligently during practice to win all of his matches. He represented our club and our valley well.
Judokas, mark April 2nd on your calendars. We are excited to have a Kootenay Regional Training session at our club. Our guest instructor will be Sensei Jesus Navarro, from Jaffray. He is a former Olympic coach for Spain and brings years of experience to the sport. It will be an honour to have Sensei Jesus at our club. We will look forward to learning and refining new techniques during this one day training seminar.
The Invermere Judo Club will be training until the middle of May. Graham will be representing Judo BC in Calgary at the Canadian National Judo Championships from May 12th to 16th. He will need help and support from all of his Invermere teammates as he prepares for competition. See you on the tatame!
Coach Jeanette Riches wrote this week’s column. To learn more about the Invermere Judo Club, visit invermerejudo.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.