Judo sea­son un­der­way for Labrador Straits Academy club

Di­dier Naul­leau teach­ing classes since 2014

The Labradorian - - Sports - BY DANETTE DOO­LEY SPE­CIAL TO THE NORTH­ERN PEN danette@nl.rogers.com

The Labrador Straits Academy Judo Club is up and run­ning again for the 201819 sea­son.

Di­dier Naul­leau, the club’s head coach, started the club in 2014.

Orig­i­nally from France, Naul­leau taught Judo dur­ing his mil­i­tary ca­reer.

Af­ter he and his wife Bar­bara moved to Pin­ware, Labrador, in 2013, he be­came in­ter­ested in of­fer­ing Judo train­ing in the area.

He con­tacted the prin­ci­pal at Labrador Straits Academy in L’Anse au Loup about us­ing the school’s gym­na­sium as home base for the club.

The prin­ci­pal agreed.

The sport is taught as an ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­ity, free-of-charge to stu­dents as young as Kinder­garten un­til they fin­ish high school.

“All they have to pay is their ad­mis­sion to Judo Canada and Judo New­found­land and Labrador,” Naul­leau said.

Adults are also wel­come to join, he said. They are charged a fee for in­struc­tion which goes back into the chil­dren’s pro­gram to off­set travel costs.

When the club first opened, he said, about 40 stu­dents signed up to learn the mar­tial art.

The num­ber of com­peti­tors is now steady at 25, Naul­leau said, with sev­eral ath­letes be­ing at pro­vin­cial com­pe­ti­tion level and ready to move to the na­tional stage.

Sev­eral of the com­peti­tors had a chance at the 2019 Canada Win­ter Games Judo se­lec­tion process. How­ever, Naul­leau said, they could not pur­sue the op­por­tu­nity be­cause of lack of funds; the manda­tory train­ing re­quired is very ex­pen­sive.

The club does have a par­ent com­mit­tee, how­ever, that fundraises to take some club mem­bers to tour­na­ments out of the area.

“I’m hop­ing to send four of my top (ath­letes) to the At­lantic Games which will be held in Hal­i­fax in March (2019),” Naul­leau said.

In ad­di­tion to the school, Naul­leau said, the New­found­land and Labrador Judo As­so­ci­a­tion as well as nu­mer­ous busi­nesses have also sup­ported the club.

How­ever, he said, with­out the par­ents’ con­tin­u­ous sup­port the club would not be able to op­er­ate.

Four­teen year old T.J. Flynn of Forteau is a mem­ber of the club.

His mother, Noreen, helps raise money to get the chil­dren to com­pe­ti­tions.

“When they go to tour­na­ments all of the par­ents go in our own ve­hi­cles be­cause we want to be there with them,” she said.

T.J. said while Judo is a sin­gle-per­son sport, it also gives you a sense of what team work is all about.

“Ba­si­cally, the en­tire build-up to ev­ery sin­gle tour­na­ment is a group of peo­ple help­ing each other to get bet­ter. And that’s pretty amaz­ing,” he T.J. said.

Ka­t­rina Buckle of Forteau has two chil­dren in the club – 10-year-old Tay­lor and 12-year-old Lu­cas.

Lu­cas is a pro­vin­cial champ in his cat­e­gory.

“Judo makes you very ath­letic and com­pet­i­tive,” Lu­cas said.

“Coach Naul­leau shows me and my other team­mates how to do ev­ery­thing by step,” he said.

Lu­cas’s mother said be­ing part of the Judo club is an awe­some ex­pe­ri­ence for her chil­dren.

“It shows them dis­ci­pline and they re­ally en­joy it. (The coach) is awe­some with them,” she said.

Buckle said with more spon­sor­ship and fi­nan­cial sup­port the club could travel more even to clubs in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay and Cor­ner Brook.

“We could have lit­tle tour­na­ments be­tween us,” she said.

Naul­leau said the ath­letes are do­ing great in the sport.

“I be­lieve that we are just about to see, prob­a­bly, the first Judo black belt on this coast,” he said.

Any­one in­ter­ested in join­ing the club can con­tact Naul­leau on Face­book at LSA Judo Club.

“I be­lieve that we are just about to see, prob­a­bly, the first Judo black belt on this coast.”

— Sen­sei Di­dier Naul­leau

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Labrador Straits Academy Judo Club is open for its fifth sea­son. Mem­bers of the club are, front row (left to right): Jonah Rowsell, Jax Ry­land, Yashveen Gun­put, Omar Ben At­tia, Bent­ley Clarke; se­cond row: Jesse Earle, Jayme Pen­ney, Seth Piercey; third row: Kennedi Hol­ley, Mo­hamed-Rayen Bouzid, Bren­don Lin­stead; fourth row: James Pen­ney, Ju­lian Flynn, Mar­cus Flynn, Tay­lor Buckle, Nicole Flynn, Sen­sei Di­dier Naul­leau; and back row: Michael Nor­more, Lu­cas Buckle, Kee­gan Fowler and T.J. Flynn.

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