A year’s worth of hard work was celebrated at the Kokoro Judo Club’s year-end finale on April 29.
The best part of the evening was seeing the children smile, as they high-fived one another, after being recognized their accomplishments, said Sheri Hatton, who is one of the instructors at the Kokoro Judo Club, but also a student.
“It was a fantastic night,” said Hatton. “You can see how proud the children are of their own accomplishments but you can also witness how proud the parents are.”
The evening began with belt promotions. Twice a year, the students are promoted in their belt class – kids will earn a stripe or ribbon on their belt. Some will receive a half or even a full belt. Hatton says it often depends on how long the student has been in the program.
“We will do the second promotion towards the end of the year to continue encouraging them and promote those that are ready for the next level,” said Hatton. “We also recognized certain individuals with awards, prizes and trophies.”
Hatton said there are more benefits to Judo than it’ physical and self-defence properties.
“We have children who come in that have learning or attention difficulties,” said Hatton. “You watch them grow over the years and become disciplined individuals. They tend to respect those around them – their teachers, instructors and parents.”
“It’s wonderful to see that development,” Hatton added.
The club’s highlight this year was the Prince George open. The club came back with a total of 22 medals.
“For some kids, it was their very first time going to a tournament.”
The Kokoro Judo Club Trophy Winners:
Judoka of the Year:
Amirah Jensen, Beginner Class 2018 – 2019
Ben Ko, Junior Class 2018 – 2019
Jun Nielson, Adult Class 2018 – 2019
Braelyn Kormish, Beginner Class 2018 – 2019
Cheyanne Hibbs, Junior Class 2018 – 2019
Jas Nielson, Adult Class 2018 – 2019
Best Shiai Performance:
Alex Ko, Beginner Class 2018 – 2019
Madison Chequis, Junior Class 2018 – 2019
Matt Ziemer, Adult Class 2018 – 2019
Nate Jackson, Beginner Class 2018 – 2019,
Tyson Dean, Junior Class 2018 – 2019
Tia St. Pierre, Adult Class 2018 – 2019