Paralympian visits Parkland Secondary

World-class judoka Tim Rees visits students in Sidney

London 2012 Paralympian Tim Rees demonstrates some moves to students from the Parkland Secondary School Judo Academy. Rees visited the school on Nov. 21.

Students from the Parkland Secondary School Judo Academy were treated to a visit from a special guest last Wednesday.

On Nov. 21, Tim Rees, who represented Canada during the London 2012 Paralympic games, paid a visit to the school’s Judo Academy and showed students some of his expert moves.

Rees, a world-class judoka, suffers from rod cone dystrophy which is a rare form of macular degeneration.

The disease has rendered Rees legally blind.

During his visit to Parkland, Rees showed students from the Judo Academy, the first of its kind in Western Canada, some tips and tricks on improving their technique. The academy, which is included in the students’ timetables as a course, is in its first year of operation.

“The response from the students has been amazing,” said academy organizer Mickey Fitzgerald. “I ran it as an after-school club since 1989 but to have it incorporated into the timetable was great.”

Fitzgerald runs the class with the help of a handful of other teachers and volunteers. Fitzgerald, who has been studying judo since he was 10 years old, is a blackbelt and credits judo as the thing that kept him on track as a teen.

“Judo is what kept me on the straight and narrow when I was a kid,” he said. “The mentorship and dedication it took kept me out of trouble and I started the club for the same reason.”

The judo academy allows students to achieve four credits for the course as well as an additional four physical education credits each year they are enrolled, explained Parkland visual arts teacher and judo enthusiast, Andre Gogol.

“We try and get the students out on the mats at least three days a week with two days of classroom theory,” said Gogol.

Gogol also added that students who enroll in the judo academy have an opportunity to work towards coach training with the National Coaching Certification Program.

“What we hope is that we have a constant turnover of students who go through the academy and can come back to show new students where the training can take them.”

The application process for the 2013/14 academy will begin in the spring. For more information visit parklandjudoacademy.ca.

Just Posted

WATCH: Soon-to-be guide dogs take part in the Amazing Puppy Race

10 puppies training to be guide dogs took part in a social Easter egg hunt

Victoria City Councillor Laurel Collins wins federal NDP nomination

Collins will run for Victoria in the upcoming federal election

Eco warriors to shut down Douglas Street on Earth Day

Environmentalists to call on banks to divert investments into green infrastructure

Long weekend starts with series of crashes

The long weekend traffic pile up is starting with a series of… Continue reading

Victoria church bells toll in solidarity with Notre Dame Cathedral after devastating fire

Churches around the globe ring bells to honour iconic Paris cathedral

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Most Read