It was a season of records and accomplishments for the Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club.
A record number of athletes registered with the club, a record number of medals in competition and strong representation at the national championships.
And when a club has a season like that, others are bound to take notice — something Judo Saskatchewan did at their recent annual general meeting.
The provincial organization named the local group their ‘Club of the Year’ for the 2000 season, marking the second time in the past five years Moose Jaw has won the award. The honour was officially announced at the AGM but was revealed to the club’s members at their annual awards banquet Saturday.
“It’s a great honour,” said Koseikan sensei Cliff Wiens. “Other clubs are looking at what we’re doing in Moose Jaw and they’re really impressed. This shows just how much respect we’re getting at a provincial level.”
The award is chosen based on several factors — ranging from participation numbers in tournaments to the number of members in a particular club.
Koseikan has been nominated for the award the past five years, last winning in 1997.
The club currently has a total of 89 members, making it the largest in the province. In addition, a large number of those regularly compete and excel at tournaments throughout Western Canada.
That kind of dedication to the sport side of judo also saw Koseikan earn it’s largest number of medals in a single season, with their total of 178 easily eclipsing the record of 158 set last year.
In addition, the club also hosted one of the largest tournaments in the province during the Feb. 19 weekend, attracting a total of 129 competitors.
“It was a great year, I don’t think we could have asked for things to go much better than they did,” Wiens said. “It really looks promising for the future, too, with the number of people we have coming out and especially with the quality of some of our younger fighters.”
A good example of that could again be seen at the provincial awards banquet, when Koseikan member Mark Pivovar won the provincial Spirit of Judo award, edging out clubmate Brian Smith for the honour. Kailey Large was named the best juvenile ladies competitor in the province, with Danielle Pakula runner-up for the best cadet girls competitor award.
“A lot of other clubs in the province have noticed what we have going on here and are really impressed with what they’ve seen.” Wiens said. “We want to keep improving and keep offering quality judo to Moose Jaw as long as we can.”
The club also handed out their annual awards at the banquet Saturday, with Pivovar (most gold medals), Large (most gold medals female), Smith (most medals female), Stephanie Legault (most medals female), Pakula (most improved female), Jeremy Williams (most improved male), Jennifer Herbert (most promising female), Devin Crabbe (most promising male), Colin Waynert (outstanding performance), Connor MacDonald (outstanding performance), Chris Gerry (purple heart) and Stephen Gerry (purple heart) all honoured. Marisa Kerr, Nick Hughes, Garth Rivers, Mark Kerr, John Smith, Randy Palmer and Volker Rininsland received Spirit of Judo awards.
Judo jottings . . . Wiens was recently elected president of Judo Saskatchewan, taking over from long-time president Harry Heaton.
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald April 1, 2000