Wednesday April 20th 2016

As I reflect on this past weekend at the Cadet-Juvenile Nationals, I realize that all the hard work that these young athletes have done has come down to this.  Going to Calgary this past weekend was perhaps one of the largest groups in recent years from the majority of Quebec’s major clubs.  This point is made clear by the fact that as a rule, we must send a certain amount of officials for a certain amount of athletes.  I counted at least twenty-four athletes competing this year from CLIC, the Crazy Dogs, KSS, the Montreal YMHA, and the Patriotes de St-Cesaire.

View from the stands

The Canadian National Championships represents many things to many people.  For some, it is the apex of their athletic careers.  For others, it can be just the first step in a long international career.  Whatever the case may be, just being there can be considered an accomplishment.  In some ways, winning a medal at the Cadet-Juvenile Nationals can be harder than at the Junior Nationals for the following reasons.  First, the amount of athletes is much more than that of the Junior Nationals, thereby placing more wild cards into the mix.  Second, at these younger age groups, athletes that have develloped faster physically can greatly change the outcome of a match.  Essentially, skill can be negated by physicality at this age.  Third, at this point in their career, an athletes mental discipline may not have develloped completly at this point.  Mental toughness is perhaps one of the hardest things for an athlete to develop and can sometimes be more important than physicality.  The mental discipline is the last thing to develop on an athlete which makes winning that medal at the Cadet-Juvenile nationals hard as well.

Hopefully we can see greater participation amongts the various clubs in the coming year.  Though the nationals are over, we still have the Eastern Canadian Championships hosted by Dominique Choquette at the end of May.  Maybe this will also attract other young people to our great sport as wrestling teaches so much to a young person.  The value of sportsmanship, hard work, dedication and most importantly, how to deal with adveristy.  These were all the qualities that I saw on display at the Cadet-Juvenile Nationals this past weekend.