NEW BRITAIN - The Nutmeg Games judo competition gave many young athletes the opportunity to participate in their very first fight.
That was the case for New Britain Judo and Dynamic Arts, which brought nine young fighters to the event on Saturday, ranging from the ages of 5 to 14.
“It’s an annual event [for us] and great competition and I’m just happy to be here,” assistant judo instructor Victor Otero said. “Most of out fighters here are young, this might be their first or second competition, so I’m just looking for them to have fun. It’s also a good learning experience for them.”
Saturday was the first competition for New Britain’s Jaelin Osorio. He competed in the boys 13- to 16-year old bracket, winning the silver medal.
“I think it was pretty cool,” Osorio said. “I’ve been involved in judo for a couple months now. I like the people I have in my class. They’re all friendly.”
It showed in the stands.
The entire New Britain Judo and Dynamic Arts’ parents, fighters and instructors were there for everyone. If one of their fighters was on the mat, there were always people cheering each other on, and that’s what Osorio liked the most.
“Today was pretty fun,” he said. “I was cheering all my friends on, everyone was cheering me on when I was out there, it was really nice.”
In addition to Osorio, Christian Corchado, Cameron Cardona, Bryan Lopez, Ivan Lopez, Aleya-Lynn Mercado, Josephine Fox, Bartosz Kotarski and Mason Packard also competed. Both Fox and Mercado came away with two medal each - one gold and one bronze - in the 6-7, 6-8 girls divisions.
The competition was also a chance for the local fighters to see teams and competitors from out of state, like New York’s Bronx Judo and Martial Arts, compete.
“We had about 90 participants on Saturday from the ages of five to 53,” Nutmeg Games Executive Director Pat Fisher said. “I think it’s a big deal for them. We get clubs from all over the state, we also get a lot of clubs from out of state. It gives the out of state clubs a chance to compete because they do not have a summer Games.”
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org