Karate club members win provincial awards
The longtime instructor of Bridgewater’s Uechi Ryu club has been honoured as Karate Nova Scotia’s dojo sensei of the year.
“Unlike most [karate students] who cease to further their own training and development after they reach black belt, Victor is always seeking out new knowledge and information,” said chief provincial referee Dave Griffin about Victor Swinimer, whose club also received an honourable mention as club of the year.
“If a teacher is going to be effective and successful, he must keep studying. Victor understands this.”
Mr. Swinimer is a seventh-degree black belt who was also his sport’s Nova Scotian official of the year in 2012.
The dojo sensei of the year honour is typically awarded to a coach who shows respect for officials, opponents and parents while demonstrating concern for all-round development of their members. It is also based on merits of enthusiasm, leadership and positive impact on the sport and its development.
“He was nominated by multiple members of Karate Nova Scotia for his contribution,” said provincial association executive member Greg Da Ros.
Among those contributions are hosting the first grand prix tournament of the season, teaching full time with his club, providing extra classes for competitive athletes, attending regional clinics, officiating at the national championships, participating in provincial team workouts and being the Karate Nova Scotia rep for the South Shore.
“I’ve got 35 years in this,” said Mr. Swinimer about the time he dedicates to his sport.
“It’s just what I do.”
Three teenagers from Mr. Swinimer’s club were members of the provincial team in 2012-13, including his son, Aiden, who was named Karate Nova Scotia’s junior male kata athlete of the year after competing in three different age groups at national championships and winning a bronze medal at the Atlantics.
The other provincial team members were Alex Fraser and Duff White, who was the only Nova Scotian to compete in both the forms and fighting disciplines at the nationals.
“[Duff] has excellent potential to medal in the future at nationals as he continues to work and train hard,” said Mr. Da Ros of the 6’2″ recent Hebbville Academy graduate.
Both Duff and Aiden are expected to represent the province at the Commonwealth Games for karate in Montreal this fall.
Bridgewater’s Uechi Ryu club has trained out of St. Joseph’s parish hall for more than two decades.
There are currently about 30 members.