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Sensei Vanessa

"I believe that Judo is a lifelong journey."

~ Sensei Vanessa

My Story

I have been involved in Judo for 26 years and currently have the rank of Shodan (black belt).  I am NCCP certified  as a Dojo Assistant (DA) and Dojo Instructor (DI). I am currently working on the completion of the NCCP Level 3 – Competitive Development.

Throughout my judo career, I have won various medals and awards, including a bronze medal at the 1999 Canada Winter Games. As an athlete with the Nova Scotia Judo Team I trained and competed at several provincial and national level events. I was an assistant coach at my home town club – Kanokai Judo Club. My mentor at the time was Sensei Cindy Fraser.  Sensei Cindy at the time was the Provincial Coach and I was able to learn and gain a deeper understanding of the coaching process.  Her mentorship is what transitioned me from athlete to coach and I will forever be grateful.

In 2011-2012 I was the Women’s Liaison for Judo Canada. Also in 2011 I had the opportunity to attend  the Quebec Open in Montreal as the “mentor” Female Coach for Team Nova Scotia. This was a great experience which only enhanced my desire to continue to elevate my skills on the coaching path. In 2013 & 2014 I attended the Coaching with an Edge: Atlantic Coaches Conference which inspired me to apply for the 2015 Canada Winter Games Mentorship Program.  After being selected, this program enabled me to further develop my coaching skills through several personal development courses and by attending the 2014 Women in Coaching Canada Games Apprenticeship Conference in Saskatchewan held by the coaching association of Canada (CAC) and the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS).

From 2012 to 2016 I was a major part of the coaching staff for Nova United Marital Arts Judo.  At this time I implemented the Little Ninja’s program (ages 2-4 years) into the club. During my four years with NUMA I gained valuable knowledge on properly instructing and coaching athletes from recreational judo through to competitive judo.  When the original NUMA closed, I was coaching and assisting with the Junior Class and Senior Class at the Atlantic Training Centre in Bedford and also coached the Kinder class at ATC for the past 2 years. All of these training opportunities have been very beneficial to my development as a coach.

I believe that Judo is a lifelong journey.  I will forever cherish my time as an athlete and now relish in the joy of teaching others.  My journey is not over, I am always looking to expand my skills and will continue to grow as a coach with the hopes of coaching at the next Canada Winter Games in 2023 in PEI.  

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