Three Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay teens head­ing to Canada Win­ter Games

Goose Bay Judo Club has had com­peti­tors in ev­ery Win­ter Games since 1976

The Western Star - - SPORTS - BY EVAN CAREEN THE LABRADO­RIAN

Three young men from Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay will be com­pet­ing in the Canada Win­ter Games in Red Deer this Fe­bru­ary.

Tyler Rus­sell, Nolan Walsh and Joshua Blake will be com­pet­ing in judo as part of Team New­found­land and Labrador.

The trio, who train at the Goose Bay Judo Club, have all been in judo for close on a decade and say they’re re­ally ex­cited to com­pete in the Win­ter Games.

All three have com­peted na­tion­ally be­fore but this is the hardest team to make, they said, and a per­son is only el­i­gi­ble once. They were iden­ti­fied by the New­found­land and Labrador Judo As­so­ci­a­tion about two years ago as pos­si­ble com­peti­tors and have been train­ing for it ever since.

Rus­sell said he’s ex­cited to com­pete against ath­letes from the other prov­inces and to learn from them.

The coaches at the lo­cal club are the rea­son they’ve man­aged to make it so far, they said.

Blake’s fa­ther, Colin Ja­cobs, is one of the coaches. He said Ja­cobs has helped him im­mensely.

“He’s helped me through a lot of this,” Blake said. “He’s helped me be­come a bet­ter fighter.”

The trio brought up re­spect a few times as one of the main things they’ve learned from judo, re­spect for them­selves and for oth­ers.

Mike Mon­tague, one of the in­struc­tors at the club, said re­spect is a big part of judo and all of the in­struc­tors work hard to teach the stu­dents that.

Mon­tague said the club has had com­peti­tors travel to ev­ery Canada Win­ter Games since the club was formed in 1976.

All three lo­cal ath­letes have been train­ing hard for the up­com­ing Win­ter Games, and he’s very proud they made the team.

“They’re go­ing to do well,” Mon­tague said. “They put a lot of work into it and they de­serve to be on the team.”

Mon­tague said he would also like to ac­knowl­edge the com­mit­ment of the par­ents of the young ath­letes as well, both in terms of time and the cost in­volved.

The Canada Win­ter Games will be­gin in Red Deer on Feb. 15 and con­tinue un­til March 3.

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