Creston Judo Club Sends 7 Local Athletes to BC Winter Games – Creston Valley Advance

A team of young athletes from the Creston Judo Club will compete in the BC Winter Games next year.

The games have been canceled for 2022 due to the pandemic, so the rescheduled event will take place in March 2023.

“There’s a lot of excitement,” said Creston Judo Club head sensei Laura Knudsen.

“There were so many disappointments last year. We all shed a few tears when we heard the news of its cancellation.

There are seven qualified judokas from the Creston Judo Club. To complete a full team, the remaining spots for the BC Winter Games will be filled with participants from the Fernie and Invermere clubs.

The team will take part in four competitions before the games. The first training camp will be held in Vernon through Judo BC in late September, with training from a gold medal-winning head coach from France.

Another training camp will take place in November, exclusive to the Kootenays. From there, the team will travel to Abbotsford for the first international tournament.

“They’ll all be exposed to what the competition is like because it’s been two years since we’ve had one,” Knudsen said. “We have a list of things to work on – strength, flexibility, conditioning – things like that.”

Knudsen said she lived vicariously through her students and felt the same pre-competition nervousness as they did.

“We encourage each other, even though we go against each other,” she said. “We like to say there are no losers. There are learners, so with every loss comes a lesson. You are more than likely going to see the same competitors in your same categories over and over again. So we focus on how we can improve next time.

As it is necessary to travel to most competitions, the Creston Judo Club relies on the generous support of the community.

Creston and District Credit Union recently donated $1,000 in September.

“The Credit Union has completely surprised us with their generous corporate sponsorship donation, and it makes it so much easier for these kids to actually attend events,” Knudsen said.

Other community supporters of the Creston Judo Club include Mayday Electric, Creston Valley Funeral Services, The Wee Grill, Kokanee Ford, Notary Creston, The Mallory, JH Huscroft and Grant Campbell.

For more information about Creston Judo Club, visit

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Don Low presents Head Sensei Laura Knudsen with a check for $1,000 made out to Credit Union. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)