Mile Zero Judo is anxious to throwdown

As the season changes from summer to fall, many sports clubs are looking to begin their season, especially those that have been shut down since March because of the pandemic. In Dawson Creek, martial arts clubs are beginning to re-open and welcome kids back into the respective gyms.

The Mile Zero Judo Club is itching to begin training once again — the club paused operations back in March and hasn’t had any training since. Unfortunately, due to certain Judo Canada rulings, the club won’t open until October 5 at the earliest. Though Judo Canada and Judo BC recently moved into Phase 3 of its return to play plan and contact is allowed, kids are still required to wear masks, and that’s something the judo club doesn’t want to force on its athletes.

Mile Zero Judo is targeting early October.

“As long as we have to wear masks, we’re not going to do it. I don;t think it’s healthy, I’m not sure a mask will stay on the kid’s faces while they are grappling and on the ground, and I want them to want to come here and enjoy it,” said Mile Zero Judo’s Isabelle Gelinas.

Gelinas said one of the reasons the club is waiting to return is because 80% of its members are 12 years old and younger, a challenging age group to require rule following from. She is expecting Judo Canada to change its guidelines within the next three weeks, allowing for training without a mask.

“We are hoping to resume classes by the first week of October. We haven’t had any judo for such a long time and it’s driving everyone nuts. People have been checking in and telling us they will come back as soon as we can open,” Gelinas said.

While Gelinas and everyone involved are excited to resume judo activities again, she thinks waiting an extra month will be beneficial.

“September is always so chaotic, and even more so this year with everything happening in the schools,” said Gelinas, hoping that by October things will have calmed down and families will be fully excited about judo.

Mile Zero had a high member-count last year, with more than 100 athletes training, though Gelinas is expecting a bit less this year to start. Groups will likely have to train in smaller groups, which may cause training times to look a bit different this year, though those decisions are still to come. Judo Canada has also said there won’t be any tournaments until 2021 at the earliest.

For more information, visit the Mile Zero Judo Club’s Facebook Page. The club’s dojo is located at 1140 102 Ave in Dawson Creek.

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