As the Canada Winter Games Team Manager for Judo Ontario, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to blog about my experiences at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax. My name is Aartje Sheffield, and this will be my first-ever chance to experience the excitement of the Games. The Mission Staff has done a wonderful job of keeping Judo Ontario’s team informed and organized. The excitement amongst the team members is palpable.
Judo has strong roots in the Japanese culture and it was the first martial art accepted as an Olympic sport in 1964. The sport involves throwing and grappling techniques grounded in a philosophy of “maximum efficiency, minimum effort” and “mutual welfare and benefit”. The word Judo means the gentle way (ju-do). Respect, discipline and physical and mental fitness are all concepts integrated in the Judo teachings.
At the Canada Winter Games, judo is a U20 event and as such points can be scored by throwing, hold-downs, chokes and arm locks. All judo competitors at this event must have National level experience or have defeated someone with National level experience. Judo athletes are divided by weight classes. This is done to ensure that athletes will compete against opponents of similar size. There are seven women’s weight classes and seven men’s weight classes.
The Ontario Judo Team is a strong group of talented and skilled individuals. Our Coaches Tracy Angus and Dave Burt are both very experienced and have participated as Coaches at previous Canada Winter Games. Their experience will provide the team with the coaching expertise that they will need to help them attain their individual and team goals.
As the Judo Ontario Team Manager, my goal is to provide support to the team so that each athlete will thoroughly enjoy their Games experience, and have wonderful competition memories. I look forward to watching the judo events, and taking in as many sports as possible. The excitement of this multi-sport event is definitely contagious. Judo is a week 2 event, so we can’t wait to join Team Ontario in Halifax!
I feel very fortunate to be able to share my experiences with the readers of the blog, athletes, parents, and sport enthusiasts alike.
Till next time,