LENNOX ISLAND – It’s been quite the ride for Lennox Island’s Alicia Thomas since rejoining the Lennox Island Judo Club at the end of August.
She won gold at the Eastern Canadian championships in Edmundston, N.B., and at the Nova Scotia provincials in Truro, and she’s secured herself a spot on the Prince Edward Island Canada Winter Games judo team.
All that, after having been away from the sport for close to four years.
Thomas has competed in hockey for the past four years, and last year she took up high school rugby at Westisle Composite High School, where she is now in Grade 11.
In judo, Thomas competes in the under-18, +70-kilogram class, and feels her strength works to her advantage.
The daughter of Rhonda and Joseph Thomas of Lennox Island is currently ranked sixth in Canada for her weight class, and that has earned her an invitation to a Judo Canada Elite Eight competition in Montreal this weekend. She has competed previously in Ontario, where she won a match, but this weekend will be her first competition in Quebec.
Coach Robin Enman said they’ve come up with new strategies for Thomas since the Ontario competition, and he feels familiarity with other judokas will help her going forward.
“I’m hoping to medal, because that would be really cool,” Thomas said the day before she and her parents set out for the competition.
Weigh-ins and the first matches are on Saturday. But more important than a medal is the experience.
“I think it would be a really good experience, because some of the girls who are going to Elite 8 I’m pretty sure are going to Canada Games, so, if I fight them at Elite 8, then I’ll know how they will fight at Canada Games,” she strategized.