P.E.I. judo organizers hope competition raises profile of sport

Competitors from across the region are taking part in the Atlantic Judo Championships in Summerside, P.E.I., this weekend.

Athletes from Atlantic Canada, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Brazil, Ireland, and Mexico taking part

Athletes grapple during the competition. (CBC)

Competitors from across Atlantic Canada are taking part in the Atlantic Judo Championships in Summerside, P.E.I., this weekend.

It's the first time the competition has been in P.E.I. in 10 years and organizers say having it here gives Island athletes the chance to test their skills.

Brian Nash, chair of the organizing committee for the 2016 Atlantic Judo Championships in Summerside, P.E.I., says he hopes having the competition in P.E.I. raises the profile of the sport. (CBC)

"With competitions like this, it definitely helps them to step up their game, help give them a reason to train more as well," said Brian Nash, chairman of the organizing committee.

Nash says he hopes the tournament will raise the profile of the sport on P.E.I.

"It's great, they get to show off the sport to their friends and family who might not get to see it, and we had a lot of people participate from the Island that wouldn't normally participate in this competition.

Nash said the tournament's slogan was "become part of something big."

"It's for the competitors. We want them to become part of it, we want to make this an exciting event for them and we also wanted to introduce the community of Summerside and the rest of the Island to high-quality judo," he said.

The 2016 Atlantic Judo Championships are being held in Summerside, P.E.I. (CBC)

Judo clubs from Summerside, Charlottetown, and Lennox Island are competing with 50 competitors in total.

George Madumba is happy to have a chance to represent his province on home turf.

"It's nice to have a big tournament here because we get to show our pride and how we're doing, so it's lots of fun," said Madumba.

Other competitors taking part are from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador but a few athletes from St. Pierre et Miquelon, Ireland, Mexico and Brazil also wanted to take part.

The competitors range in age from pre-teen to people in their 60s and all have a variety of skill levels.   

The tournament is being held at Credit Union Place in Summerside and competition finishes Sunday.

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