Original B.C. Games participant-turned-sensei officiating 39 years later

Langley judo sensei was a competitor at the inaugural B.C. Winter Games 40 years ago

From athlete to coach to volunteer to official— Glenn Ford has done it all at the B.C. Games and 40 years later he continues to leave a legacy of giving back to the sport of judo.

It was at the inaugural B.C. Winter Games in 1979 in Kamloops that Ford participated in the team judo event, winning a silver medal. As the Games return to Kamloops to celebrate their 40th anniversary, so does Ford — this time as an official.

“He is a great representative in the sport of judo, in that judo is more than just a sport — it really is a way of life,” said Thompson, executive director of Judo B.C.

Thompson said Ford is a valuable contributor to the sport in B.C. Having been involved in many B.C. Winter Games, officiating at all levels and coaching — including the past 28 years at a club in Langley.

“Again, a great representation of what judo is as a sport. It is very much about creating great individuals on the mats but also off the mats. A big part of judo is giving back so that is something that is in our sport and he is just a fabulous example of that.”

Ford, a humble person, said the B.C. Games has been an integral part of his life.

“It was a mini-Olympics then too. It was great because after that I was injured about three years later and wasn’t able to fight too much more so I started coaching at the B.C. Games,” said Ford. “It was great and really good to see how things have changed for the better.

The sport of judo continues to evolve

Thompson, who is the executive director of Judo B.C., said they made huge gains in the past year and half after hiring sport development director and provincial coach Jeremy LeBris.

“He is here and he is watching every single match to see how the kids are doing but he is also involved in our coach mentorship program, the school program to help create more awareness for our sport and get more kids involved in it. We already have more kids at this event, the age grouping ties in better with the Canada Winter Games and a lot of that is from him.”

LeBris, originally from France before moving to Quebec to work with the national team, is already helping Judo B.C. win more medals at national competitions, getting more athletes participating at youth provincial championships and more athletes at the B.C. Games.

Thompson has a clear vision for the future, which includes more B.C. athletes developing into Olympians.

“Absolutely that is the goal. And we hope that they have been her at these Games and that they will be on the Olympic podium in eight years, maybe 12.”


Glenn Ford was a participant in the sport of judo at the inaugural B.C. Winter Games in 1979. He returns to Kamloops in 2018, as they host the Games again, this time he is a judo official.

Just Posted

Shinedown to debut new music in Penticton

Penticton concert-goers will be the first to hear a new song from Shinedown’s sixth album

Mudslide at South Okanagan golf course

A mudslide occurred at Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver

SD67 fills 2-year gap in Aboriginal education administration

District also announces shuffling of school admin, with Princess Maggie VP heading to Pen High

Prescribed burns to close Penticton channel path

The burns will close the path from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday next week

What’s happening

Find out which events are taking place in the Okanagan and Shuswap this weekend

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

B.C. pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions from around B.C. for National Puppy Day 2018

Similkameen residents face long wait for bus solution

Scheduling key for Similkameen bus riders in proposed B.C. Transit Penticton to Kelowna expansion

Rainstorm causes road flooding in Naramata and Okanagan Falls

Flood assessments conducted in Okanagan Falls and Naramata

Photos: Salmon Arm celebrates Paralympic champion Natalie Wilkie

Hometown hero welcomed home with parade, recognition ceremony at city hall

Most Read