PORT HAWKESBURY: Four local athletes visited the Atlantic Open Judo Championship in Summerside, P.E.I., and there is little question the fearful foursome were ready to throw down.
“We have some really hard-working athletes who went out,” said Rachel Kurmoto, who coaches at the club with Wayne Reynolds and Elliotte Reynolds. “They go to a lot of tournaments and they do well for a small club.”
Leading efforts for the club was Kaleb Matheson, who took silver in the U10 category.
“Kaleb was a big leader,” said Reynolds. “He did well and the other guys did too.”
In the U12 category, John Langley was a bronze medal winner. The boys were awarded their medals on Friday, April 19.
The following day, Reid Matheson and Brien Langley tussled with the best from Atlantic Canada in the U16 division. Matheson picked up bronze for his efforts.
“There’s no shame in coming back from a tournament like that with nothing,” Kurmoto said. “You gain experience, and that helps you improve. Whenever you go to a tournament, you get better.
“They work really hard at the club and it showed in this tournament,” she said. “Reid had some really tough matches – one against someone going to Canada Games, but he did really well. And this was a great confidence boost for Kaleb. He came back with a lot of confidence.
“It’s always positive when you have people doing well at competitions like this. It gets the rest of the club thinking about going too.”
Other tournaments this year include a trip to Bridgewater and Yarmouth, and the local club is expected to send athletes to both. Kurmoto said it would be nice to see even more sign up next fall.
“We’re looking forward to a couple more tournaments and then a year-end banquet,” Reynolds said. “We’ll wrap it up then. Next year will be our 50th anniversary, and we want to do something special – maybe bring in the old times, bring the photo albums in, and have a big day.”