Renee has done much to break barriers for women in judo.
In 1989 Renee was one of a handful of women who relocated to the National Training Centre in Montreal to pursue training under Hiroshi Nakamura.
First Canadian female athlete to receive full corporate sponsorship when she was recruited by the Seiko Sankyo Corporation of Japan. Renee won both the All Tokyo and All Japan Corporate Judo Championships.
First Canadian female to have coached both men’s and women’s Senior National Team athletes in International competition.
First female ever to be appointed to Judo Canada’s Technical Committee in the capacity of Program Development Coordinator.
First female to ever hold the positions of Head Coach and Technical Director of Judo BC.
Her contributions to our sport as an athlete, coach, and advocate for women in judo, have had a significant impact on the development of judo in Canada.
During the 1970s, the Baie-Comeau Dojo, under Gisèle Gravel, became the Dojo with the most female judoka in North America, having a total of 162 female members. Gisèle Gravel promoted about fifty women to black belt.
Inducted as a Pioneer in 2007
Inducted as an athlete in 2000 for outstanding national and international achievements as a member of Canada’s national judo team her exceptional career accomplishments include:
The first Woman National Coach is Tina Takahashi. After a remarkable competitive career, the Ontarian trained as a coach in Montreal under the direction of Sensei Hiroshi Nakamura. In 1988, she coached the National Women’s Team at the Seoul Olympic Games, where women’s judo was presented for the first-time as a demonstration sport. Two of her students, Nathalie Gosselin and Michelle Buckingham, represented Canada at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
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