Kabry Larochelle, top, from the Moose Jaw Koseikan Club gets the upper hand on Andrew Hillsden from the Avonhurt Club in Regina in under-13, under-34 kg action at the Judo Sask Provincials at 15 Wing Gymnasium. Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
The Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club hosted the provincial championships at 15 Wing over the weekend and it was a very successful competition, there were more athletes that competed than expected.
“Everything went great,” said Jim Wiens, tournament chairperson. “We actually had a whole lot more competitors than we were expecting.”
Usually the provincial championships will see approximately 100 athletes compete, but this year, there was over 160 entries entered from all over the province.
“This is the most number of athletes in a provincial championship,” said Wiens.
The club had a great weekend, with 27 athletes competing for individual awards and medals, but also as a team. They won the provincial championship trophy as a team with 185 points. The athletes all compete in their individual age and weight categories and a point system is based on participation, the amount of wins and medals won that each club won and that is how the trophy is determined.
“We did very well,” said Wiens of the club’s performance. “The results from the athletes from Moose Jaw were very favourable.”
There were 13 different clubs that competed in the championship from around the province. The sport is strongly growing throughout the province and with such a high number of athletes that competed, it proved that not only are the athletes competing at a high level, but also the clubs are still keeping their own athletes in Saskatchewan.
“The province has really grown in the amount of athletes that we actually retain here…the ones that are actively pursuing spots on national or provincial teams,” stated Wiens. “Many years ago, those athletes would leave Saskatchewan and go to places that had a national training centre. In the last few years, that hasn’t been happening and we’ve been able to retain those athletes, which means our provincial competitions become a lot stronger as far as the amount of talent and skill.”
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.