Liam Saunders of Northern Lights Judo Club twists and turns as he attempts to get out from under his opponent during a judo match in Carmacks on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Carmacks hosts first-ever Yukon team judo tournament

‘We just want them to have a good time and enjoy something different’

Judokas from across the Yukon flocked to Carmacks on March 3 for the Carmacks Judo Challenge.

The challenge used a team format — the first of its kind in the Yukon.

Bianca Ockedahl, head instructor for the Carmacks Judo Club, said athletes still compete individually, but that medals are given based on how each team of four fares.

“It’s not only their own win that carries them to a gold medal,” said Ockedahl. “It’s their whole team. Out of four, you need a minimum of three wins to advance.”

More than 40 judokas took part in the event, with the majority from the Carmacks Judo Club and the Northern Lights Judo Club.

“I was hoping to get more from the other clubs,” said Ockedahl. “I’m hoping to grow it next year of course.”

Ockedahl said she invited a club from Juneau, Alaska, this year that were unable to attend but hope to make it next year.

The plan for expansion also includes clubs from B.C. and Alberta.

For those that did make the trip to Carmacks, Ockedahl said the tournament was well received.

“It was pretty fun. I got really great feedback from parents and kids and they had a lot of fun. The day was a bit long because we only had one mat surface, which I’m planning on changing for next season,” said Ockedahl.

Judo is still relatively new in Carmacks, but has grown in popularity.

The club started in fall of 2016, and the club has already successfully hosted three tournaments — one individual tournament last season, another earlier this season and this team event.

Ockedahl said the plan is to grow the club further, including involving surrounding communities.

“For next season, we plan on growing. We’re about 25 to 27 kids, so we plan on expanding and offering judo to the communities of Pelly and Faro,” said Ockedahl.

Training sessions on the weekend will allow interested kids from Pelly and Faro to travel to Carmacks, try judo and experience everything that goes along with that.

With the club taking root in Carmacks and the recent completion of a trial program in Haines Junction, judo seems to be an increasingly popular choice for the Yukon’s young athletes.

“I think in the last four or five years, we’ve come a long way,” said Ockedahl. “We’ve redeveloped the structure of it a little bit and I think it’s helped [it] gain more popularity.”

Spreading mostly via word of mouth, judo may not have the same exposure as hockey or soccer, but draws from the same talent pool.

“All the sports all share the same kids,” said Ockedahl. “Kids are being pulled in one direction and the other. That’s OK too — they’re young. It’s not like they’re training for the Olympics right now or anything. We just want them to have a good time and enjoy something different.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

Carmacksjudo

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jodie Gibson has been named the 2020 Prospector of the Year by the Yukon Prospectors Association. (Submitted)
Jodie Gibson named 2020 Prospector of the Year

Annual award handed out by the Yukon Prospector’s Association

A number 55 is lit in honour of Travis Adams, who died earlier this year, at the Winter Wonderland Walk at Meadow Lakes Golf Club in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
A new take on holiday traditions

Winter Wonderland Walk, virtual Stories with Santa all part of 2020 festive events in Whitehorse

Eric Schroff, executive director with the Yukon Fish and Game Association, poses for a portrait on Feb. 20. Schroff says he is puzzled as to why the Yukon government is cutting back on funding for the association. (Jackie Hong/Yukon News file)
YG cuts Yukon Fish and Game Association funding, tried to vet outgoing communications

Yukon Fish and Game Association says 25 per cent government funding cut will impact operations

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Nov. 27, 2020

Premier Sandy Silver during a live update on the COVID-19 situation at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 27. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Total Yukon COVID case count increased to 42 cases

Premier urges patience after national meeting on vaccine roll-out

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Most Read