Four members of the Abaco Judo Club competed in Nassau this weekend in what would be, to date, their most important tournament, producing excellent results.
“This October is going to be a very exciting month for The Bahamas Judo Federation as there will be two big events coming up,” Said Coach Regina Parotti.
The first event is the Youth Olympics, which is for athletes born between 2001- 2003. The second is the World Jr. Judo Championships, which is for athletes born between 1998-2003.
The Bahamas is hosting the World Jr. Judo Championships in Nassau and the Bahamas Judo Federation (BJF) is working hard to ensure that the Bahamas fields a full team of the best Judoka possible.
To this end the first rounds of qualifying tournaments were held this weekend and Abaco was well represented.
In the qualifier for the Youth Olympics, Rachel Rolle won her spot in the under 78-kilogram division. Also trying out was Vonte LaRose in the under 66-kilogram division.
“This was Vonte’s first major tournament and he did well. Although he came up just short of qualifying he impressed the National Head Coach and other BJF executives who invited him to come to Nassau as soon as school is closed to live and train with the male national team members,” Coach Parotti said.
She added that, “Rachel will have to win a few international events in order to secure a spot to the youth Olympics as they only allow one male and one female and there are two other females in different weight groups who have qualified as well.”
Representing at the World Jr. Judo Championships, to no one surprise, are both Desmond Bootle Jr. and Desmondo Bootle, who qualified outright with very impressive wins in their divisions.
Both Desmond and Desmondo are currently living in the athlete’s house and are training under the National Head Coach Sensei Oneysi Pons. They are required to attend all training sessions and maintain their weighs for their respected divisions.
Upcoming events this year are CARIFTA Judo scheduled for June 16; the US Jr. Open on July 10; and for Desmond Bootle the PanAmerican Cup in Lima Peru.
Coach Paraotti said, “As always, the Club is in need of funding for these events. If anyone would like to help us to get to our goal of raising $5000.00 please contact me at 475-1632.” The cost for Desmond to attend the tournament in Peru is just over $3000.00.
The Abaco Judo Club is self-funded and with no government funding. “The only obstacle I see at this time to these young people not making it to these tournaments is finances” said Coach Parotti.
“They are all training hard and willing to put in the work that is needed but if we cannot come up with the funds for travel and training the dream of a lot of young people will be dashed, if anyone can help out in any way please contact me; let’s not let their hard work go to waste.”