After their most successful year in their history, Moose Jaw's Koseikan Judo Club had a lot of hardware to pass our at their recent awards banquet.
The club collected 173 medals this year, a record for the second largest club in the province. In addition to honoring their club's achievements, T.V. Taylor, an 11-year member of the Sask Judo executive, was the guest speaker and shared his opinion that the club was "well represented and very well thought of" within the provincial judo community.
The Koseikan had been nominated for six straight provincial club of the year awards, before Sask Judo decided to spread the honours around.
"Our membership is actually down from where it was a few years ago," said Koseikan Club instructor Jim Wiens. "This year we had a lot more people who were competing."
Included within that large group of competitors was the contingent of Brian Smith, Stephanie Legault and Mark Kerr that travelled to nationals and each had a big breakthrough year at that level.
"We always had a good showing at the provincial level," said Wiens "We'd send 12 people and come back with 10 or 11 medals but this year we made that jump to the national level for alot of athletes.
"Now that they've broken that barrier, the can start to do that consistently."
Wiens felt that the number of instructors this year has helped give their members the one-on-one training the needed to reach the top level.
Wiens himself was honoured as only the fourth judoka in the province to attain their black belt. Brother Josh Wiens won the Purple Heart Award for coming back from injury.
Jeromey Martini won the Outstanding Performance Award for his work in Swift Current where he competed and excelled two weight classes above his normal weight class.
Stephanie Legault was the only multiple award winner as she was honoured for having the most medals and the best won/lost record amongst female competitors. Kailey Large won the award for Mose Medals Female competitor, Jennifer Herbert was Most Promising Female and Danielle Pakula was the Most Improved Female.
Leigh White won the Best Win/Loss Record Male, Brian Smith won the Most Medals Male, Mark Kerr was named Most Improved Male and Tommy Glasrud was the Most Promising Male.
Mark Pivovar won the Appreciation Award for his work with the club and Ron Gerry won the Parent Appreciation Award. Amy Hughes, John Smith, Philip Oegema, Connor MacDonald and Devin Crabbe each won the Spirit of Judo Award.
The club has also honoured their members who received belt promotions.
Mason Dyck, Amy Hughes, Zachary Robertson, Sean Roberts, Mark Roberts and Kari Weiss went from white to yellow belt.
Tommy Glasrud, Brett Weiss, Andrew Oegema, John Smith, Devin Crabbe and Stephen Gerry went from yellow to orange belt.
Connor MacDonald, Andrew Rininsland, Jeremy Williams, Mike Kleckner, Leigh White, Chris Gerry and Jeromey Martini went from orange to green belt.
Danielle Pakula, Marissa Kerr, Garth Rivers and Shayne Hogeboom went from green to blue belt.
Kailey Large, Mark Kerr, Brian Smith and Josh Wiens went from blue to brown belt.
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald May 15, 2001