Monday March 26th 2018

The Junior-Senior Nationals made its return to Quebec for the first time in over twenty years with CLIC taking on the task of hosting Canada’s premiere wrestling event at the Centre Claude Robillard.  The hosting of a tournament requires a lot of preparation and work as well as the help of a lot of volunteers and people behind the scenes to make it happen.  CLIC, with the help of Peter Montour, Dominique Choquette, Sylvain Luneau, Abbas Mohammadian and a slew of other volunteers from various high schools and clubs were able to make it happen and pull off a great tournament.

Dominique Choquette hard at work to make it happen!

The officials

The Nationals tried to take on a more prestigious tone this year as the venue was set up to look like a venue that could be seen at the World Championships or the Oylympic Games.  The matching mats with the United World Wrestling colours, along with the black flooring and curtains helped to really make it stand out.  Truly it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a venue of that caliber and why shouldn’t Canada’s premier wrestling event look the part?  Dominique Choquette with his excellent work on the 2013 Canada Games in Sherbrooke was one of the architects for the overall look of the competition and his input can clearly be seen.

The calm before the storm!

The Senior Nationals begin

The feedback that I got from some officials as well as some athletes spoke highly of the quality of the venue and the dedication of the volunteers.  Under the supervision of Peter Montour, the volunteers worked tirelessly in the background to contribute as best they could to the smooth running of the tournament.  The volunteers gave their time and passion to help out with various tasks such as running, washing mats, filming, ushering and probably one of the most stressful tasks, scorekeeping.  On a personal note, I can say that I got some very good feedback from officials and some of the tournament organizers for the kids that I brought from Vincent Massey Collegiate and the Montreal YMHA and this made me pretty happy.  I should be noted that Beurling Academy, KSS and St-Cesaire also sent volunteers to the competition, highlighting the fact that a lot of the Quebec clubs came together to help in this event.

VMC Volunteers: making the Coach proud!

The volunteers from Beurling Academy lending a helping hand

At the end of the day, these brave volunteers remain

The tournament went on for three days and though I didn’t attend the last day due to the fact that I had to run practice but I heard from various people that the tournament finished strong and featured some great matches in Greco-Roman.

On a another personal note, it was great to see the Junior-Senior Nationals in Quebec for a second time in my lifetime.  The priviledge of sleeping in my own bed was unusual at first but I got used to it pretty quickly.  The fact that I also didn’t have a long drive or flight back was also nice as it only took me fifteen minutes to get home.  Finally not having to take days off work was also a bonus since I only have a limited amount of days to do so.

A special thanks has to go to Chokri Khelifi and CLIC for taking on this enormous task and providing a venue that was top-notch for the event.  While the tournament couldn’t function without all the volunteers and the people behind the scenes, it also took the initiative to volunteer to take on this difficult task.  Here’s hoping to many more National Championships in Montreal!