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Judokas throw down at Golden Horn to start busy season

Judo Yukon kicked off what will be one the organization's busiest season in years on Saturday.

Judo Yukon kicked off what will be one the organization’s busiest season in years on Saturday.

Judokas hit the mat at the Golden Horn Judo Championships, the first of four Yukon tournaments, at Golden Horn Elementary School on Saturday.

“This is the first tournament of the year. All the kids come out to get some competitive experience,” said Judo Yukon president Peter Melanson, who recently took over the role from long-time president Dan Poelman.

“We had a ton of new kids join up with the club, so that’s why it went a little late ... I think we had close to 60 new kids across the Yukon join up.”

In addition to the Yukon club championships, including the Yukon Open, there’s the Alaska State Judo Championships, the Edmonton International Championship and the Canadian Judo Championships next May in Montreal.

“We have a much larger team than past years going to nationals,” said Melanson. “I think the Yukon Open is going to be our biggest yet this year. I’ve been talking to Nunavut and they’re coming, Northwest Territories wants to come, Alaska is coming, and we’re trying to get some of the southern provinces to come up for it too.”

Yukon will also be sending a competitor to the Canada Winter Games this February in Prince George, B.C., for the first time since the 2007 Games in Whitehorse.

On board to represent Yukon is 16-year-old Jacob Melanson.

“I think it’s going to be awesome, a great experience and I can’t wait to go,” he said.

Jacob is a student at Whitehorse’s Shiroumakai Judo Club with nine years of experience under his brown belt. He has already represented Judo Yukon at numerous Canadian championships.

“No matter what happens, he’ll get a good experience out of it,” said Judo Yukon head coach Bianca Ockedahl. “It’s good preparation for the Edmonton International in March and the national championships in May.”

Judo Yukon is also hoping to assemble a team for the Western Canada Summer Games next August in Wood Buffalo, Alta.

The long term goal is to field a full team of 14 judokas for the 2019 Canada Winter Games, said Ockedahl, a three-time national champ.

“I’ll be here for five years, trying to get as many kids as possible into judo. Even if they don’t want to compete, they’re here to have fun, and especially at the younger ages that’s the most important thing. If they choose to compete after, there’s a program out there for them to develop those skills.”



U14 under-50kg intermediate

1st Kenny Hyatt

2nd Rowen Kingston

3rd Scottie Sheppard

U12 under-33kg intermediate

1st Jayden Iskra

2nd Kaleb Parry

3rd Glade Roberts

U8 over-25kg white belt

1st Gabriel Racine

1st Alex Lojang

1st Sam Zephyr

U8 under-25kg white belt

1st Kenai Bryden

1st Carter Little

U12 under-39kg intermediate

1st Ben Machtan

2nd Daniel Tonner

3rd Eban Basnett

3rd Kurtis Hyatt

U8 under-20kg white belt

1st Jana Lojand

U10 under-23kg white belt

1st Luke Roberts

U14 over-66kg intermediate

1st Darrien James

2nd Jayden Leenders

U10 under-32kg white belt

1st Brennan Little

2nd Nathan Mostyn

3rd Jazzen Patterson


U12 under-45kg intermediate

1st Emersyne Siase

2nd Phoenix Scailes

U10 under-26kg white belt

1st Mackenzie Bolduc

U10 under-30kg white belt

1st Mackenzie Tonner

U12 under-48kg white belt

1st Taia Zakus

2nd n/a

3rd Mitchell Peacock

Knowledge (beginner)

1st Rogan Parry

2nd Damon Tonner

3rd Carter Little

Knowledge (intermediate)

1st Kenny Hyatt

2nd Jayden Iskra

3rd Rowen Kingston

Contact Tom Patrick at