Over the next 4 days, 25 countries will see judokas compete in Montreal at the Junior and Cadet Pan-American Cups first and then, on the weekend, at the Continental Open. The hosts do everything in their power to give you a warm welcome but also to provide a high-quality preparation and training environment. Hospitality is only one side of the coin, the other being the management of a high-level sporting context.
Before the first weigh-in, during the accreditation which took place in one of the official hotels, dozens of judokas gathered at the National Training Center to train, a few kilometers away, and feel a last time the carpet under their feet before the competition. day.
Canada’s head coach, Antoine Valois-Fortier, explained: “Last week was the Quebec Open, a very well attended event every year, and so we have many athletes from different Pan American countries coming for that. . Every year, after this event, we organize a 4-day camp. Among other things, a Brazilian team stayed to train this year and there are usually many younger judokas, who also prepare the next generation of the elite.
“We are trying to organize the camp in a way that people can come to the Quebec event and then stay to train before also attending the continental open and the cups. It’s important timing, to attract people from other countries and this is especially important when you think about the spread of our population. It’s hard to imagine how big Canada is.
Janusz Pawlowski is a Polish coach who has been with us and has been coaching the national team since 2014. This morning he leads, but every morning the technical session is led by someone else from our Canadian coaching team. We also involve our regional coaches to ensure there is always development and inclusion.
How will Judo Canada benefit from these tournaments?
“First of all, we want to be recognized as a federation fully involved in judo, active in the promotion of judo. We always hope that this will generate interest and enthusiasm and, therefore, new judokas. This is a great opportunity for our athletes to compete at home but at an international level. This doesn’t happen often for them, so they’ll enjoy feeling like they’re on the pitch to the applause of their home fans. The training is always good too. It is an excellent tool for promoting judo.
Jessica Klimkait, world champion and Olympic medalist, was there for her early morning training and said: “Being from Canada, we are really far from the judo centers of Asia and Europe, so bringing together international players with this training opportunity shows how eager we are. collaborate and improve in the spirit of jita kyoei.
Sasha Mehmedovic, Canadian national junior and -23 coach, added: “Our juniors and seniors who are already at a good level are all based here at the national training center. We collaborate with the provincial government of Quebec because it is the National Institute of Sport and not just judo. Water polo, diving, para-swimming, boxing and other sports are practiced there. Some sports do not fully train at this complex but do their strength and conditioning work here. Speed skaters and hockey players, for example, are based in another local building.
Since the Montreal Olympics, it has been very well maintained and expanded as a facility. A lot has been built here. There are many other entertainments, usually like concert halls and much more. The place is really well used and provides a great feeling for those who train here full time.
Tomorrow, the juniors will participate in the Junior Pan American Cup in Montreal, while the cadets will compete on Friday. The seniors go to the mat on Saturday and Sunday. During this time, the National Training Center will remain open and daily training will continue, so if you’re ever in the area, don’t hesitate to join us; Montreal will always have an open space for you!
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