Skip to content
Join our Newsletter


Thirteen P.G. athletes qualify for junior/juvenile national judo championships

Kolton Ferris can forget about flying under the radar when he steps onto the judo mats at the Canadian junior/juvenile national championships in Lethbridge.

The 18-year-old Hart Judo Academy member shred any chance of anonymity last year in Calgary when he was the gold in under-20/100-kilogram weight class.

As defending champion, he knows he's a marked man even before the competition begins, July 2-4.

Ferris is one of six Hart Academy judoka among the group of 13 Prince George athletes who qualified for Team B.C. Joining Ferris are Hart athletes Brendan Bellevance, juvenile boys under-15/under-66kg; Duncan Blagdon, juvenile boys under-15/under-66kg; Lavanna Laass, juvenile girls under-15/under-48kg; John Rustad, cadet men under-17/under-55kg; and Sabrina Mori, juvenile girls under-15/under-63kg.

Two of the four team B.C. coaches are from Prince George. Provincial head coach Bruce Kamstra operates the Hart Academy, and assistant coach Aline Strasdin is head coach of the Prince George Judo Club. Both have a long association with the provincial team, dating back to their time as athletes.

Strasdin said unlike some areas of the province, the three Prince George clubs know there is always a chance to send a local athlete to the national competitions as long as they compete in the team selection camps. That's why Prince George is usually prominent on the provincial team list.

"We make sure our athletes are aware of the development plan and the selection criteria," said Strasdin. "Some kids in the smaller areas didn't know there were national championships."

See Friday's Citizen for more