Ready to rep­re­sent Canada

P.E.I.’s judo, sub­mis­sion grap­pling ath­letes ex­cited to com­pete in Los An­ge­les

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JA­SON SIMMONDS

There will be Prince County rep­re­sen­ta­tion at the 2017 World Po­lice and Fire Games from Aug. 7 to 16.

Chris Townsend, Pa­trick Da­ley and Mitchell Des­Roches will com­pete in judo while Joel Ro­bichaud is com­pet­ing in sub­mis­sion grap­pling.

They are the only four P.E.I. ath­letes com­pet­ing in judo and sub­mis­sion grap­pling, although Townsend noted the Char­lot­te­town Po­lice Ser­vices have mem­bers com­pet­ing in other sports. Fish­eries of­fi­cer Jared Water­man, 37, of New­found­land and Labrador will also com­pete in judo with the Is­land ath­letes.

“It’s fun,” said Townsend, who along with Des­Roches and Da­ley at­tended this same event in 2013 in Ire­land. “It’s good com­pe­ti­tion, it’s com­pet­ing against guys who are in our field of work.

“It’s a good en­vi­ron­ment, and it’s pretty ex­cit­ing to walk into the open­ing cer­e­monies with our peers.”

Townsend, Da­ley and Des­Roches are all mem­bers of the Summerside Toshi­dokan Judo Club.

“We are ex­cited to go back,” said Da­ley. “We had an ex­pe­ri­ence back in 2013, and that was an eye-opener to the level of com­pe­ti­tion when you are meet­ing top-notch guys from other coun­tries.

“We were ex­posed to it then, and now we have a bet­ter idea of what we are up against. Our mind­sets are a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. . . It’s not go­ing to be as much of a shock. Last time it was more an ex­pe­ri­ence, this time we will try to com­pete a lit­tle harder.”

Des­Roches ac­knowl­edged the 2013 Games proved to be an “eye-opener” for the P.E.I. ath­letes.

“We didn’t ex­pect it to be as com­pet­i­tive as it was,” he ad­mit­ted. “It kind of gave us the mo­ti­va­tion to train a lit­tle bit harder this time, and we know what we need to work on.”

Ro­bichaud de­scribed sub­mis­sion grap­pling as ba­si­cally Brazil­ian Jiu-Jitsu.

“It’s a grap­pling mar­tial art that fo­cuses on the ground and sub­mis­sions is the main goal,” ex­plained Ro­bichaud. “It’s kind of a mix be­tween judo, wrestling, catch wrestling.”

All four ath­letes ad­mit they have a goal of bring­ing home a medal.

“I’d like to win gold hon­estly if I could,” said Ro­bichaud. “If not, (I want to) fight hard in my matches.”

Townsend got a taste of what it’s like to win a medal in Ire­land, when he cap­tured bronze.

“I’m go­ing to use it as a step­ping stone to have a good year in judo,” said Townsend. “I want to go back to na­tion­als this year.”

Da­ley added, “Any­time you go into a tour­na­ment the goal is to al­ways medal, es­pe­cially in a high-level com­pe­ti­tion.”

Des­Roches said ath­letes al­ways “want to medal,” but this is an ex­tra sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­na­tional event.

“To get an in­ter­na­tional medal would be a big goal for me,” he added.

Des­Roches ad­mit­ted ath­letes from dif­fer­ent coun­tries do pro­vide dif­fer­ent styles.

“You will see guys mov­ing dif­fer­ent,” he con­tin­ued. “It’s not the same as around here.

“Ev­ery­body around the Mar­itimes fights a lot the same. Es­pe­cially when you fight Euro­pean peo­ple, their stances are dif­fer­ent, their grips are dif­fer­ent, their throws are dif­fer­ent and their ground tech­niques are dif­fer­ent.”

Townsend, Da­ley, Ro­bichaud and Des­Roches all noted they are very ap­pre­cia­tive of “Is­land-wide sup­port” they have re­ceived in fundrais­ing for this trip.

“It was over­whelm­ing how much sup­port we got,” noted Townsend.

JA­SON SIMMONDS/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Four ath­letes from P.E.I. will com­pete in judo and sub­mis­sion grap­pling at the 2017 World Po­lice and Fire Games in Los An­ge­les from Aug. 7 to 16. From left: Chris Townsend, judo; Mitchell Des­Roches, judo; Pa­trick Da­ley, judo, and Joel Ro­bichaud, sub­mis­sion grap­pling.

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