Sports

Teamwork sets up martial arts

Longtime judo athlete George Lukas, with Olympians Kyle Hamilton and Hilary Stellingwerff during Sunday’s Cowichan Valley Youth Athlete of the Year luncheon, is passing along some of his expertise. - Andrew Leong
Longtime judo athlete George Lukas, with Olympians Kyle Hamilton and Hilary Stellingwerff during Sunday’s Cowichan Valley Youth Athlete of the Year luncheon, is passing along some of his expertise.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

George Lukas wants to pass on his considerable judo experience to others.

That’s the basis for an introduction to martial arts program for ages 12 to 19 starting Tuesday at the Island Savings Centre.

“I met George and I’m a youth mentor,’’ said Scott Johnston, area director for Young Life Cowichan Valley.

“He said, ‘I’d like to run a class’ for his peers. It was his initiative and I said, ‘That’s what I’m about.’’

Lukas has been among the valley’s top 20 youth athletes for the last two years. He’s been to many provincial competitions, nationals and elite tournaments around the world.

Johnston is new to the valley in the last six months after relocating from Alberta. “It’s my mid-life crisis,’’ he joked. “I wanted a job I love. This is it.’’

Lukas and Johnston first talked about the program last October. “This is when we could put it all together,’’ Johnston said.

Renowned judo instructor Mike Turner was also happy to get involved.

The sessions will run each Tuesday for six weeks until Feb. 19. The cost is $25.

The introductory class will focus on the fundamentals of throwing and grappling.

“It’ll employ George’s skill set — mostly grappling and ground work,’’ said Johnston. It came from George and we’re just trying to put everything into play.’’

Karate instructor Fernando Correia has donated his dojo space and equipment. Johnston said it would be great to get 20 people in the class.

For information, contact Denise Williams (250-746-0417).

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