Judo Ontario’s Pathway to Podium

Monday April 21st, 2014

Judo Ontario’s Pathway to Podium

These are exciting times for Judo Ontario. Our vision and sustained effort of building a stronger High Performance Program, hiring of a professional coach and the development of Canada’s first Provincial High Performance Centre is now bearing fruit.
Ontario Sport Awards - Jessica Klimkait and Minister Michael ChanIn 2011 while developing a 5-year Strategic Plan, the Judo Ontario Board of Directors identified gaps in our High Performance Program. It was felt we were not sustaining our High Performance Athletes due to a lack of professional coaching, volume of training and inadequate funding for our High Performance Athletes.
In October of 2012 the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport together with the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) launched the High Performance Management Program (HPMP). The goal of the HPMP program was to enhance Olympic and non-Olympic Sports to develop a High Performance Plan with benchmarks, Key Performance Indicators
(KPIs) and clear objectives to help PSOs measure their sport’s performance, achievable goals and take Ontario HP Programs to a higher level. Judo Ontario was successfully approved on the creation and execution of this program.
The success of our HPMP plan was largely the result of Judo Ontario’s initiatives of hiring a professional coach, the creation of the Judo Ontario Training Centre and our alignment with the Judo Canada High Performance Structure.
The successful approval by the Ministry and the CSIO of the Judo Ontario HPMP gave Judo Ontario its first opportunity to apply for Category 1 of the Ontario High Performance Sport Initiative (OHPSI) “Enhanced Projects Initiative”. Through a very competitive application process Judo Ontario applied for a short term Ontario High Performance Sport Initiative (OHPSI) Grant and was successful in receiving $26,000 towards supporting our High Performance Program.
Judo Ontario’s end goal was to be selected as one of the 11 Ontario Targeted Sports to the Ontario High Performance Sport Initiative (OHPSI). The Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) through OHPSI provides leadership, coaching support, training and competition expenses, sport science services, equipment & technology and facility access to targeted Provincial Sport Organizations.
In March of 2014, again through a very rigorous application process, Judo Ontario applied to be a long term OHPSI sport and have now been recommended for an OHPSI investment for 2014-2016. Our approved allocation for 2014-2015 is $33,000 to be applied towards the identified needs and gaps in our High Performance Program.
In addition to the OHPSI allocation, Judo Ontario applied and successfully received a $19,000 grant through the Quest for Gold and the Team Ontario Developmental Program to invest on its High Performance Program.
Kelita Zupancic - Ranked # 2 in the world - Press Conference at CSI OntarioIt is important to point out that none of this would have been possible without the services of a professional coach, the establishing of a High Performance Program and a planned partnership that integrates the NSO and PSO high performance programs to create a pathway for athletes and coaches from grassroots to the international stage.
On April 11th 2014 for the first time ever, Judo had two finalists at the Ontario Sports Awards. Pedro Guedes was a finalist in the Coach of the Year category and Jessica Klimkait a finalist in the Female Athlete of the Year Category. Jessica went on to win Female Athlete of the Year. Jessica also won the World Championships in U18 making
Jessica the first Canadian to win a World Championships in any Junior or Senior division. Kelita Zupancic won two medals at the Paris Grand Slam and the Italy World Cup both in 2014, making Kelita the first Canadian to reach # 2 in the World Ranking and is currently the highest ranked Canadian in the Judo World Ranking. In March of 2014 Shady El Nahas was the first athlete from Canada to win a Gold in the U18 International Master Bremen Tournament. These are just a few of the outstanding results we felt deserved special mention among many more International and National results that our Ontario Athletes can be proud of for the 2013-2014 season.
Congratulations to Judo Ontario and all who helped along the way. I would like to single out for special thanks, Pedro Guedes, members of the Judo Ontario HPC and the VP Technical, Aartje Sheffield, for their hard work, leadership and improved results on the National and International stage. Special thanks goes out to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Canadian Sport Institute and Judo Canada for all their support.
Brian Kalsen, President

Quotes of Support for our High Performance Program

Jessica Klimkait - U18 World Championships “Judo Canada is excited and encouraged with the great work Ontario is doing with their High Performance Program. Judo Ontario's Model is reflective on how we would like to see Regional Training Centres (RTC’s) develop across Canada. Judo Ontario has been scheduling regular visits to the National Training Centre in Montreal with the Ontario Targeted Athletes throughout the year that has been beneficial to all.”
Nicholas Gill, High Performance Director of Judo Canada 
Jessica Klimkait is the first ever judo World Champion in any age group for Canada. “This is a momentous event for all those closely involved in her career, and a glorious moment of inspiration for all Canadian judoka. I want to thank Pedro Guedes for his work as Ontario's Provincial Coach and RTS for judo Canada. And I want to thank Brian Kalsen, President of Judo Ontario for the great collaboration he has instilled between his Association and Judo Canada.”
Louis Jani, High Performance Committee Chair, Judo Canada


Pathway to Podium

Judo Ontario Pathway to the Podium Map

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