2014 Ontario Open A Resounding Success

Tuesday November 18th, 2014

The 2014 Ontario Open held recently at the fabulous Abilities Centre in Whitby, Ontario, was a resounding success.  With over 400 registrants from all over Canada, a team from Germany, Brazil and the United States, the Ontario Open provided elite athletes with the opportunity to compete for National Team points and gain national level experience.  The Abilities Centre proved itself to be a world class venue for this Pan Am and Para Pan Am test event.

Judo Ontario in collaboration with Judo Canada was proud to run a new draw system, Judo Shiai, which had all four mat areas running smoothly for two days.  Thank you to Steve Horvath for the great work!

Over the course of the competition, Judo Ontario clubs really pulled together by providing the volunteers to work mat side.  Special thanks go out to Formokan Judo Club, The Scarborough Dojo,  and Ajax Budokan as well as the Upper Canada Judo Club.

In addition to the Shiai Competition, the Ontario Open was also host to Kata Competitions in Juno Kata, Nage No Kata, and Goshin Jutsu.  Thanks to the Judo Canada National Grading Board for hosting a Kata Evaluator Clinic at the competition for the Goshin jutsu.  The Clinic was attended by 15 Kata Judging Candidates who had the opportunity to learn from the experience of Mr. Gerald Poirier, Mr.  Hiroshi Nakamura and Mr. Fred Blaney.  Thanks also to the Kata judges, Mr. Nakamura, Mr. Blaney, Mr. Vignale, Mr. Zettl and Mr. Kawasaki, as the Ontario Open could not host a kata competition without these individuals.                    

And finally, for the first time ever, the 2014 Ontario Open also hosted a Super Clinic featuring World Championships Gold Medalist, Jessica Klimkait and members of the Judo Ontario High Performance Program.  This Super Clinic was open to all paid up members of Judo Ontario aged U14 and younger and judging by the smiling faces this initiative was an overwhelming success.

The success of the Ontario Open is truly a testament to the strength of teamwork.  Many people have worked very hard over many weeks in order to make the event a success.  Special recognition should go to Dave Robb, VP Competitions, Karl Doherty, Tournament Director, Steven Sheffield, Technical Director and Steve Horvath.  Additionally, thanks go to draw masters Fran, Donna, Greg, Sandy and Marie as well as mat side volunteers, security staff and the wonderful people who helped with mat set up and tear down.  Of course, a competition cannot be run at all without the dedicated and skilled referees who made the event possible.  Special thanks to Frank Vossen and his team of professionals from across Canada and the United States.

The 2015 Ontario Open promises to be an even bigger success.

See you next year!

Aartje Sheffield, President, Judo Ontario

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