(From left) Chris Smiley, Kathy Hubble and Aaron McFadden are taking over the Lake Country Judo Club to help keep the local club strong. (Kathy Hubble)

Striking up a revitalization for an Okanagan judo club

The Lake Country Judo Club is getting two new senseis to keep the almost 40-year-old dojo going

There are new and excited faces taking over the Lake Country Judo Club.

Senseis Kathy Hubble and Chris Smiley are taking over the almost 40-year-old club this upcoming season starting in early September.

Hubble and Smiley are both accomplished judo champions and through their close relationship with former owner Keith Greichen, the two new owners wanted to keep the judo club afloat to share their passion for the sport and to honour the club’s founder Bob Greichen.

“We would love to bring the club back to sensei Bob’s hay-day when there were 150-plus members, including national champions and lots of local star competitors,” Hubble said. “When we heard Keith was going to shut down the club, (we) said ‘let’s do this in Bob’s honour.’”

“We can’t let an amazing judo club in B.C. die, with a gorgeous view of the lake from the dojo this will certainly be a place to grow and put Lake Country back on the map. It’s just a wonderful all-round sport to be a part of.”

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The new senseis are bringing in local instructor Aaron “The Technician” McFadden, a black-belt instructor, which will round out the junior programs from the Lake Country Judo Club.

Hubble, a seven-time Canadian judo champion, and Smiley, a five-time Canadian judo champion, hope the revitalization of the club will bring a surge back into the sport which is healthy, inexpensive and teaches discipline, teamwork, camaraderie, respect and tradition.

Registration nights are Sept. 5 and Sept. 10 from 5-9 p.m. More information can be found at lakecountryjudo.com or by contacting Hubble at 250-808-3842.

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