The biggest judo club in the province will be a little bigger this year.
The Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club had a strong registration and have signed up 32 new athletes so far.
"We were very busy," said instructor Jim Wiens. "It looks very full. . . So far we have 32 new people and most of the other athletes are coming back so we should be around 90 athletes this year."
Wiens feels the most promising aspect is the fact that a lot of the new athletes trying the sport for the first time are adults.
"We've never had a problem recruiting kids," said Wiens.
Club members Josh Wiens and Garth Rivers both participated in a mixed martial arts card in the spring that drew more attention to the sport. Also a student at the International Bible College is a member of the club and she has recruited some IBC students.
While there is growth in the club, there is a big loss as long-time instructor Josh Wiens has left the city. Dan Orescanin returns to instruct this year and will help fill the void. He joins Jim and Cliff Wiens, Rivers, Jeremy Williams and Derek Porter as instructors.
Two of the club's adult athletes - Ryan Stich and Darren Utley - will also help teach the kids classes while they take their National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Level 1 accreditation.
"It's good for them to help coach the kids class while they're getting their level 1," said Wiens. "And because the kid classes have so many athletes this year it will be nice to have two or three coaches."
The Koseikan will once again host the provincial junior/juvenile championships and that tournament will coincide with their annual adult tournament the first weekend in March.
Once again the club is also growing pumpkins to sell as a fundraiser and they are planning to use the proceeds to send a group of athletes to a tournament in Winnipeg.
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald Sept 13, 2007