In just a few days, for the third and last time, the Calgary Open Nationals Organizing Committee will present the Canadian Open Judo Championships in Calgary
Over the past few years, the Committee had to overcome many different challenges to make sure the event was a success every time. Allan Sattin, Chair of the LOC, knows the event wouldn’t have been possible without an incredible team to support it: “The beauty of Nationals is that it all comes together at the appointed time by volunteers and professionals dedicated to making sure that the event is the best that it can be. There was a lot of work and organization, we had a few glitches, but the organizing group is and was an amazing group of people focused on getting the job done.”
While most members of the Committee have been involved in judo for a long time, few can claim to have a longer career than Antony-John Hobbs. He started his judo career in 1962 at Hiro’s Judo Club, and is still active today, over 50 years later: “When I was asked almost 4 years ago to assist in this event, I felt quite honoured. Through this process, I have enjoyed myself so much that I have returned to Judo as an active participant. At 77, I think I’m Calgary’s oldest active participant at this time. I have also decided to start working towards my level 2 NCCP. This pursuit will, I hope, keep my mind active and body healthy for many more years to come.”
Others, like Anne Barg, vice-president of the Organizing Committee, have never been judokas themselves, but were drawn to it because of their environment: “I became involved in Judo over 25 years ago. I am a wife, mother and grandmother of judokas, and I am the only member of my immediate family not to have any belt of any colour. The last three years have been very eventful and I am sad that Calgary will not be hosting the Nationals next year, mainly because I will miss working with some very dedicated and hard-working volunteers and officials.” Amanda Brown, who was the designer and communications designer, won’t forget her experience either: “It has been a tremendously rewarding experience to serve the national judo community as a member of the organizing committee for the last three years. I’ve cherished the privilege of working with some of Canadian judo’s most distinguished and passionate individuals. I sincerely hope our judokas far and wide have enjoyed the souvenir programme and poster designs for our competitions—hard work has never been so much fun and so satisfying. My best wishes and congratulations to the Edmonton judo community, whilst they take on the mantle of the next three years of national competition—I believe they’ll do an impressive job.
The Calgary Open National Championships will take place at the Olympic Oval, on the University of Calgary campus, from Thursday to Sunday, followed by a national training camp. The competition starts every day at 9 AM, and tickets are still on sale at https://www.judocanada.org/tickets/ or on site. All additional info can be found at http://judonationals.org/.
Written by Sarah Mailhot for Judo Canada