Dear Members of Judo Canada,
Welcome to the 2013-2014 Judo Year. As I begin my second year as President, I would like to thank all Judo Canada members for their valuable opinions, support and understanding throughout my first term. It has been a great learning experience and I hope this continues into my second year.
I began my second term in June 2013 and was present at the National Championships in Vancouver in July 2013. Congratulations to Sandy Kent, President of Judo BC for a great tournament. The venue was incredible and we look forward to another great Nationals slated for May 2014 in Jonquiere, Quebec. I hope to see you there.
In August 2013 we achieved our best results ever at a World Judo Championships. Jessica Klimkait and Louis Krieber-Gagnon both won Gold Medals and Ana Laura Portuondo-Isasi placed 5th. High Performance Chair, Louis Jani said it best, “Well, what can we all say, besides ‘WOW!’”? The extraordinary results of Canada at these world championships will be a cause of great celebration for all those who work tirelessly to improve the competitive level of Canadian judo, and of course a source of pride and inspiration for the entire Canadian judo community. Once the euphoria has settled down, we will be able to take a sober look at our results (including those yet to come), and analyze the how and why to draw conclusions that ensure these two Cadet World Champions continue to excel over the coming years at the Junior and Senior levels. These athletes will inspire others to emulate their success. Thank you Louis – great stuff.
In August, I attended the International Judo Federation (IJF) World Congress, and the World Championships. I have been developing a very good relationship with the President of the IJF, Mr. Marius Vizer. I had the pleasure of spending time with him in Japan, Costa Rica, and Brazil. I continue to work well with the IJF and I will continue to build relationship with Mr. Vizer, Mr. Barta and Mr. Barcos.
I had the pleasure of spending a good portion of time with the Pan-American Judo Confederation (PJC) Presidents in Rio and I am developing great working relationships with them as well. I am excited to host the PJC in Canada at the Pan-American Judo Championships in 2015 in Edmonton.
It was unfortunate that we did not have the results we were hoping for at the IJF World Congress. Catherine Roberge placed 5th and was our best result this year. She had a very good year and she is looking forward to improving on her results at the next World Championship in Russia 2014.
On October 18th, 2013 the World Kata Championships were held in Kyoto, Japan. Although we did not achieve a medal at the Championships, we continue to support the event with participants in every Kata category. Judo Canada will work with the Kata Commission to further the development of Kata in Canada.
Canada was ranked 4th at the World Junior Championships in Slovenia; our best results ever at a World Junior Championships with one Gold, one Silver and two 5th place results. I would personally like to thank Mr. Barta for allowing me the opportunity to present the medals in the -100kg category. Once again, my relationship with the IJF Head Sport Director is growing and I cannot say enough about how much I respect the man.
Congratulations to Judo Canada for a great 2013 year. Judo Canada’s Presidency has been a 35-40 hour a week job and I respectfully will continue to do this job to the best of my ability. Thank you to the members, clubs, provinces, committees and my fellow Board of Directors of Judo Canada. I also want to thank Mr. Nicolas Gill for a great performance in 2013. Canadian judokas are thought of as tough, physical, and no easy match at any tournament in the world. We continue to give every judoka the opportunity to be not just at the World Judo Circuit – we embrace the opportunity to be medalist at every event in the world.
President – Judo Canada