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15 year old Marvin Longman and his 12 year old sister Chrystal managed to squeeze out a bronze, each in their respective divisions. Coach, William Strongeagle says that the team has had a great year up to the Canadian Championships, having won gold medals at the Pacific Northwest Championships, held in Tacoma, Washington earlier this year and winning gold medals at an international tournament held last month in Calgary. The other members of the team at the Canadian Championship Denise Strongeagle 13, Christopher Strongeagle 14, and Tracy McNab 13, all walked away with fourth place finishes.
McNab's gold medal is the first ever won by a Saskatchewan athlete at the Canadian Judo Championships. Coach Strongeagle says, "We are very proud of him. He's done something that nobody else has ever done." Strongeagle says that all the first nations should be proud of these kids because they represented their people well at all the tournaments they've been at.
The athletes have only been in Judo for two and one-half years, and have attained their blue belt level, which is only Two belts from the black belt and the highest honor in the sport. Strongeagle says that the reason his kids are winners is because they are in judo simply because they enjoy the sport. The team has been invited to give demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, to other Indian youths from that area, on July 13.
Anyone wishing to join the Judo Club is invited to attend. Classes for beginners are held every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 4:30-6:00 p.m. at the Gordon's Student Residence School. Classes for advanced judo are held Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the Punnichy School.
The advanced classes are restricted to those who have a green belt and higher.