A Moose Jaw athlete has won Judo Sask's top male U14 athlete of the year.

Paxton Nelson is in judo with the Avonhurst Judo Club in Regina and also with Control Jiu-Jitsu here in Moose Jaw. Nelson developed a love for contact sports and frequently practices at home

“Me and my dad train 20 times a month and I couldn’t do it without my Dad helping me all the time,” said Nelson, referring to his father Jeff’s garage setup. “We have mats and we have a punching bag and stuff like that...

“It’s given me a lot more confidence than I used to have,” he said.

The younger Nelson had a great weekend at the Edmonton International Judo Tournament way back in March, winning gold in the U14 31 kg weight class. Nelson also won silver in the Judo Manitoba Inner City Open earlier in 2020.

Ultimately down the road, he would like to be able to compete at the Olympic level.

“That was actually my main goal when I started this,” he said. “I think if anyone could, they would go to the Olympics but it definitely is a goal to compete at that level.”

He credits his dad and many of the coaches for what he's been able to learn this year.

“Especially in Covid, there’s been a bunch of people that have come to train and there’s been a bunch of people willing to do private lessons at the (Control) Jiu-Jitsu club and people from Avonhurst that have been willing to help make me better.”

The near future involves a lot of training because meets won’t be able to happen.

“It’s been very difficult to not be able to see many people at once or train with many people at once,” he said. “You kind of lose the competition aspect and you haven’t really been able to go to the club because it’s locked down.”

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