I mentioned in my B.C Provincials recap that Keri and I volunteered at the tournament. It is a unique experience to be on the other side of the fence, coordinating the athletes to mats, keeping score, or even weighing the competitors in and checking their uniforms for irregularities. I also assisted in the setup the night before; laying down mats that I would later be competing on.
As it was our first time volunteering, neither of us wanted to take on heavy duties. We didn’t want to mess up anything for the competitors. Keri was a ring coordinator and sometimes a scorekeeper; I stuck to scorekeeping duties the entire day, which allowed me to jump in and out when I needed to compete. I was pretty nervous when the day first started, even though they were Mitey Mites and wouldn’t know if I messed up or now. Fortunately I had a fantastic referee who made eye contact for awarding points and giving clear signals for everything. He took the edge off, and the day started very smoothly. Together with the ring coordinator, we – and everyone else of course – had the teens and women’s divisions going by noon. Pretty good for a 9AM start time.
The day kept going smoothly, and it wasn’t until I had finished my gi division that mistakes started to creep in. Fortunately, the mistakes were correctly quickly, in part to the experience of the ref, and in part to the fact that I’ve known the ref for the better part of a decade – he ref’d my first match. Around 4PM there was a noticeable lull as a few of the Absolute divisions were finishing up; most of those athletes were also in No-Gi. My No-Gi division was free of Absolute participants, so I ran to collect the division, a referee, and a scorekeeper and got it moving. I figured it would be easier to get it done now, rather than in the middle of all of the No-Gi divisions.
Around 5:30PM, I realized that I could not brain anymore. It had been a long day already, plus competing, with barely any breaks. I packed it in to the main coordinator, and pulled Keri out as well. I did manage to pass my duties off to longtime friend Matt Kwan who was waiting for his No-Gi division to be called, so at least someone would still have a scorekeeper. Then it was all of the food to recharge and watching Fabricio Werdum use some Jiu-Jitsu to win the belt.
I am pleased to have volunteered and give something back to the community; I will be volunteering at future events, and if Keri is available, I’m sure she will be as well.
–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Respect the Technique, Triangle Army