The Invermere Judo Club is active since September with 60 members registered that are split into two groups.
Juniors, six to eight years old, practise on Monday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. They learn basic movements leading to judo applications: gripping, groundwork and judo terms. This group has about 23 members on the mat, who have fun, play games that make them aware of body movements and also learn to respect others.
The advanced members practise Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 to 8 p.,m. This group are mostly juniors, from eight to 18, some seniors, ranking from white to black belts. We are fortunate to have six yudansha (black belts) as instructors, from shodan to sandan (1st to 3rd degree black belts) with NCCP training and qualification as dojo instructors, and provincial as well as national A referee certifications.
Some members choose recreational judo and strive for better physical condition as judo is a very beneficial workout, and others test their abilities in competition.
November 14th was a tournament in Creston at which eight athletes from Invermere took part. Jeanette Riches and Bill Rainbow were coaching; Bob Gadsby and Hermann Mauthner were busy as referees.
Lenni Stich was our first competitor and set the stage against a higher-ranking opponent. With three ippons, he won his first bout and continued to the gold medal. Owen Christy showed his best and placed third — a bronze medal. Marnie Rainbow and Cassia Riches had the longest bout as they were so evenly matched — both received a bronze medal. Lucas Nickel gave his best, which earned him a silver medal. Lawrence Bell competed against a black belt and returned with a silver medal.
Also, a silver was won by Chris Seitz after some hard competition.
Graham Norquay competed in the BC Winter Games category and won the gold medal with excellent techniques such as a perfectly applied seonage (shoulder throw) and tomeonage.
Graham will represent Zone 1 at the upcoming BC Winter Games in the 42-kilogram division.
Well done, judokas. congratulations and see you on the tatame!