For Kaeden Rendek, what started out as something to do in the winter — when he wasn’t swimming or playing soccer — has turned into something far bigger.
Last summer, the 13-year-old won a silver medal at the Canadian Judo Championships — after wining bronze in 2012 — and this week he will take on other provincial competitors at the 2014 BC Winter Games, which run Feb. 20-23 in Mission.
“It feels good to represent the Kootenays and Zone 1,” said the Creston teen. “I’m the only one from the Kootenays in my weight division.”
Rendek is now in the under-46-kilogram division, and has been taking on fighters up to three years older.
It hasn’t been easy to get his far, having to train and fight in three qualifiers since the nationals in order to represent the Kootenay Zone at the Games.
“It’s hard, but you’ve just got to push through,” Rendek said, adding that he enjoys “just getting experience and getting to compete.”
He hopes to come back from the Games with a medal — but only after taking on eight, and possibly up to 12, competitors.
To that end, Rendek been training with chiropractor Wade Giles, with the goal of making sure he’s exercising correctly at the gym and on the mat, and he can’t express enough appreciation to the other Creston judokas who spend extra time at the dojo helping him practice.
“I just want to thank all the people who come to the club to help me train,” he said.