Three judoka from Shidokai Judo in Mill Bay were part of an unprecedented showing by the Vancouver Island-Central Coast region at the BC Winter Games in Mission.
With a full complement of athletes, the best turnout from the Island in BC Winter Games history, Zone 6 fought to a silver medal.
"It was one of those competitions where everyone performed really well," said Sensei Mike Turner, who was one of the Island team coaches. "We had a full team of girls, and that has never happened."
The Mill Bay dojo sent Cobble Hill’s Jeremy Perkins, Duncan’s Anna Clark and Victoria’s Jackson Minnick to the games. In addition to their team medal, Perkins finished ninth in the under-66kg men’s class, Clark placed fourth in the under-52kg women’s division, and Minnick collected a silver in the under-55kg men’s division.
The Games marked the highest level that Clark and Perkins had ever competed at, while Minnick had previously competed at nationals, where he lost both his fights. All three were pleased with the BC Winter Games experience.
"It was fun being part of a team," said Clark.
"It was a good tournament to get used to highlevel competitions," added Minnick.
Perkins lost both his preliminary round matches, but very nearly turned the second match into a convincing victory.
"It was close," he said. "In my last match, I threw the guy, but time ran out."
Clark lost twice and won once over three fights.
"They were all pretty good matches," she said.
Minnick won his first three matches, then lost in the final.
"I did pretty good," he said. "It was pretty close; I lost by decision."
All three athletes hope to compete at higher levels down the road with goals of national and international competitions. The trio all have different things they like about the sport. For Perkins, it’s the intensity, and for Minnick, it’s the physicality. Clark enjoys pretty much everything.
"I think it’s just a fun sport with throwing and everything," she said.