Williams Lake Judo Club members tested their stamina, strength and resolve this past Monday participating in the club’s second annual Judo Throw-A-Thon.
The event, which came about last year after WLJC sensei Jeff DiMarco came up with the idea for a fundraiser, essentially, involves all club members — young and old — pairing up and taking turns throwing one another throughout a timed portion.
Family, friends and peers came out to the Mackenzie Avenue club to watch as adult athletes threw for five minutes, while juniors threw for three.
Prior to that, members were out in the community collecting pledges — some being pledged based on how many throws they could complete in the allotted timeframe.
“Our club normally runs solely on membership dues so this throw-a-thon really saves our bacon,” DiMarco said. “Members collected pledges from family and friends and the workplace.”
So far, DiMarco said, fundraising totals haven’t been finalized; however, he added the fundraiser looks like it will keep the club running throughout the summer months when they close down for the season.
“Most people don’t know what judo is, especially in North America,” DiMarco said. “It is very popular in other parts of the world — No. 3 in Brazil, No. 2 in France behind soccer, and it’s in the school P.E. curriculum in Japan and very popular in Europe, Russia and Korea — even little Mongolia is putting out great judo players.”
In Williams Lake, judo is mainly a fall to spring sport, DiMarco said, and could be great off-season training for summer athletes.
One important aspect of judo utilized by all who took part in the throw-a-thon is falling properly.
DiMarco said it is the most important part of judo.
“It keeps one able to participate in the sport,” he said. “There was lots of throwing but no injuries.
“It could save you when you fall off your bike, or down the stairs, or slip on the ice.”
DiMarco added, on behalf of the club and all its members, a thank you to all who pledged and donated money to the event.