Canadian Judo Community Showcased at 2023-24 Annual Awards and Recognition Gala!

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Montréal, May 28, 2024 – Christa Deguchi and François Gauthier-Drapeau, named senior athletes of the year, were among the 18 award recipients at Judo Canada’s 2023-2024 Awards and Recognition Gala in Montréal on Sunday.

The gala, held at the closing of the Open National Championships, which took place from May 23 to 26 at the Centre Pierre-Charbonneau, showcased the achievements of the volunteers, clubs, and athletes who have distinguished themselves over the past year.

Deguchi, the gold medallist at the 2023 World Championships and a five-time Grand Slam medallist, was rewarded for her numerous accomplishments, as was Gauthier-Drapeau, who won three Grand Slam bronze medals in 2023 alone.

In the U21 age category, Evelyn Beaton and John Jr Messé A Bessong, who have excelled in international competition, received the same award.

Carla Van Zyl and Lowan Le Bris were named U18 athletes of the year. They both finished on the podium at the Cadet Pan-American Open, which was held in Montréal last November. Nicole-Daria Manaila and Amir Temirbaev were named U16 athletes of the year.

The kata athlete of the year awards went to Aiko Lachaîne and Danielle Ferland. The mother-daughter team reached the finals of the World Kata Championships in Ju-no-Kata, finishing sixth in the highly competitive event.

Alongside the athletic awards, the Lifetime Contribution Award was presented to Claude Lesage for his many years of involvement with Judo Canada. Gilles Bellerose was presented with the Judo Canada Hero Award.

Additional 2023 award winners:

Outstanding Shiai Volunteer Award: Marc Cantin
Outstanding Board & National Committee Contribution: James Kendrick
Competitive Club of the Year: Taifu Judo Club
Judo Club with the Most Members: Club de Judo Haut-Richelieu
Most Outstanding Referee Contribution Award: Éric Faucher
Presidential Recognition Award: Garry Yamashita


Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada

For more information:

Patrick Esparbès
Chief Operating Officer
Judo Canada
(514) 668-6279

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