Community responds to call for judo fundraising venture

Hot dog serving helps George Lukas raise some money for a trip to the Ukraine. - Andrew Leong
Hot dog serving helps George Lukas raise some money for a trip to the Ukraine.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

The fundraising’s done and Cowichan’s George Lukas is on his way to elite judo competition.

Friday’s barbecue by donation and silent auction at Thrifty Foods put Lukas over the top of the $5,000 needed to allow him to compete for Team Canada in the Under 17 World Junior Championships in Kiev, Ukraine.

“Thank you to all the people in Duncan, all the sponsors,’’ said Lukas’ father Charles.

“People came up there and were dropping off $20 and $30 for a hot dog.’’

George Lukas left the valley Sunday and is currently in Montreal for training in advance of the World Championships. He’s one of only two B.C. athletes who will then depart for the Ukraine from Montreal Saturday, returning Aug. 15.

Lukas has never been outside of Canada before. He’s obviously looking forward to the trip that will include a stop in Paris on the way.

Canadians traditionally haven’t done too well on the world stage at this level so Lukas wanted to make sure he was well prepared, intensifying his workouts at the Mill Bay and Victoria Judo Clubs.

“I trained all week for the past two weeks basically,’’ he said.

Lukas intends to take it match by match.

“I try my best,’’ he said. “If I can win a fight or two, I will be very happy.’’

It’s all part of the process that has the 16-year-old Lukas on a rapid trek toward the Olympics. His interest in judo only started in Grade 5 during a school demonstration by Mike Turner.

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