The Portage Judo Club is sending five members out of the province for a national event today.

Tennyson Verwey, Jacob Dudgeon-Sykes, Olivia Krynski, David Bevan, and Chysom Scott will all get a chance to perform in a circuit tournament this weekend. Head coach of the Portage Judo Club, Brian Case, explains what a circuit tournament is.

"It means that it is nationally sanctioned. So, people that want to make a spot on the national team come there, and they have to defeat people and get points," Case continues. "The (competitors) with the highest points are the ones that are put on the teams that travel for international events."

Case notes all five of the competitors attending today's event have experience in a circuit tournament from just a few months ago.

"In October, we had a circuit tournament here in Manitoba for the first time in probably 50 years," says Case. "It was originally slated to be in January but it got postponed because of COVID. So, we held it this October, and in December, we had provincials, which was a smaller tournament but we had very good results at that one too."

With an excellent showing at provincials, Olivia Krynski earned a spot on Team Manitoba for the Canada Winter Games in February. Case says previous members of the Portage Judo Club won a medal at this event, and he believes Krynski could add her name to that list next month.

The program, as a whole, has been running strong ever since the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, according to the head coach.

"We've been really well attended. We have a waiting list for our first class, and our last class is very full, too," Case explains. "Last year, we got shut down a couple of times and started back up again, and I was hesitant to have too many people registered for classes. That's made things a little smaller this year, but with the interest we've had, I expect we'll have a much bigger club next year, again."

Case is cheering on his students this weekend as they look to put on a show in Regina.