(From left) Jackson Minnick from Highlands

BC WINTER GAMES: Games a stepping stone for judokas

Individual sport relies on coaches and teammates for support

For Jackson Minnick, judo is about improving yourself.

“I like how it’s an individual sport; you can control the outcome entirely,” he said.

Next week in Penticton, Minnick, 15, will compete for a second time in the B.C. Winter Games, a scenario he said puts him at a slight advantage since he’ll know what to expect.

“I’m really competitive and I like to win all the time,” he said, noting that he isn’t taking the competition lightly.

The Highlands resident hits the mat four or five days a week with weight training three times a week and usually competes once or twice a month.

“It’s a physical sport. It’s fun for me. It’s hard on your body … There’s a lot of stuff to learn on how to improve.”

Equally important to the physical training is the mental aspect of the sport, Minnick said, adding that he is preparing by using visualization exercises.

While judo is an individual sport, the support of others –especially coaches – is crucial, he said. “You rely on your teammates in the club to improve. I wouldn’t go anywhere if I didn’t have the people to teach me.”

The Grade 10 Belmont student is one of 18 judoka competing for the Vancouver Island-Coastal zone at the Winter Games,  six of whom are from Greater Victoria.

Colwood resident Jake Grant, 14, is a first-time Games competitor. He is “looking forward to the trip to Penticton and seeing a lot of people from B.C.” Half the fun of competing, he said, is catching up with peers from different areas. While making new friends adds to the experience, it’s also about seeing different competitors grapple and learning new styles of fighting.

“I don’t really care about winning or losing. I’m just really excited to go against a lot of people from across B.C. and have a lot of fun,” he said.

Grant trains two to three times a week and takes part in additional training clinics whenever possible. He called qualifying for the Games an “empowering” experience and agreed about the importance of being supported while on the mat.

Saanich’s Jeremy Grant, Jake’s older brother and the father of team member Max Grant, joins the group as an assistant coach for the Island team.

“Often in judo we have a very diverse age group,” he said. This competition gives the athletes a chance to train and compete against peers in their age groups, which can sometimes be a challenge, he added.

A former Island team head coach at the Winter Games, Jeremy is gearing up for the competition by watching videos and working with athletes on their strategies and training plans.

But those plans don’t end after the Games. “The Winter Games actually sits within a larger competition series leading to the national championships.”

The Games might be the experience needed to push some of those athletes towards “competing at that higher level,” he said. “I’m interested to see if the light bulb goes on for some of the younger athletes.”

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Northbound lanes re-open along Malahat after small rockslide near Goldstream

Drivers asked to use caution, clean-up crews have finished on-site

SD63 strike officially ends with union’s vote to accept agreement

More than 7,000 Saanich and Peninsula students back to school Monday

Outrigger canoe teams race over two days to raise money for men’s health initiatives

WetDashe for men’s health highlights benefits of year-round sport on the West Coast

Heritage Haunted House rakes in more than $10,000 to help fill children’s dreams

Spooky fundrasier has been scaring community for 13 years

Investigate the paranormal at Point Ellice House this December

Museum hosting ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’ event

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Most Read