As three members of the Moose Jaw Koseikan Judo Club travel to Toronto to take another step in their development, clubmate Vern MacDonald will take one of his final steps in a lifetime of the sport.
MacDonald will also be traveling to the Ontario Open where he will be appraised as an official. If he passes the test, MacDonald will become the first national certified referee from Moose Jaw.
"It's the beginning step before going to senior nationals, junior nationals," said MacDonald of national certification which would allow him to referee out of province and is a step away from going to national events.
"It's a way to keep up with the elite athletes we are grooming now," he added in reference of his Ontario Open travel mates. "It's a way to be part of the process."
This process itself will involve a panel of International Judo Federation officials who will look at MacDonald and another Judo Sask referee Pat Patterson in action and decide if they make the grade.
MacDonald has been refereeing for 15 years and welcomed the chance to further his dedication to the sport.
"It's a way to stay in the judo game," he said. "It's only certain events they do this at and this was a good opportunity to travel with clubmates."
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald Nov 22, 2001