Jason Lee receives the Ippon of the day award at the Island Series Judo Championship hosted by the Victoria Judo Club.

Judo Club athletes turn out stellar performances

The Campbell River Judo Club (CRJC) has had a busy final month of the 2015-16 judo season.

Twenty club members travelled to Nanaimo April 9 to compete in the second of a three-part Island Series of tournaments.

The CRJC collected medals from nearly all who participated. Some highlights from this competition were Ethan Lenz fighting in five tough matches, earning a silver medal utilizing his favourite technique, Seoi-Nage (shoulder throw). Newcomers Riley Cook, Jacob Gole and Michael Racette, as well as an experienced Owen Wellard, put on a great show in a division of five people that had to have second, third and fourth decided by extra matches between Cook, Gole and Racette, with Gole coming out on top.

The CRJC coaches were proud of how hard everyone fought and it showed through the medal count, with the CRJC bringing home eight gold medals out of the 20 that participated.

This past weekend, 17 members made the trek to Victoria for the final instalment of the Island Series tournaments.This tournament was the first time competing in Tachi Waza (standup) divisions for five CRJC members. Gwen Whittle, Minka Benoit-Durham, Rory Gardiner, Jason Lee and Winter Mckeen all made the transition to Tachi-Waza and impressed with their poise and willingness to take advice.

The biggest accomplishment of the tournament came from Lee, who used a beautifully executed De ashi barai (footsweep) to launch his opponent nearly shoulder height and onto their back not once but twice. The perfect techniques earned Lee the Ippon of the day award, an award that is given to the person who demonstrates the best technique out of all who are competing (there were more than 100 competitors in the Victoria tournament). Other notable highlights were CRJC’s Silas Horner’s exciting matches in both his own division as well as the U14 division, in which he also fought and beat a green belt (two belts above his own yellow belt). Even though the regular judo season for most members finishes this week, the CRJC will be sending a record 12 members to Canadian Nationals in Calgary May 12-16. On July 9, the CRJC is celebrating its 50th anniversary and will be hosting a catered dinner and celebration at the Thunderbird Hall.

This event is for anyone who has ever been involved in the Judo club. Tickets are $30 per person and are available at the Dojo or by contacting crjudoclub@hotmail.com.