Marie McDowell being awarded her honourary Shodan at the 2016 Ontario Open

It's Official! Long-time judoka and volunteer Marie McDowell was awarded an honourary black belt (Shodan) at the 2016 Ontario Open in Scarborough on November 13, 2016. Marie was then presented with her black belt at the club the following Wednesday.

Marie having her old belt removed in her black belt award ceremony at the club.

Marie started judo in Ireland before moving to Canada with her husband Sensei Maurice McDowell. She continued practicing judo here at our club briefly before ending her active practice of judo, however she did not end her involvement in judo.Sensei Maurice McDowell putting on Marie McDowell's new honourary Shodan. In fact, Marie has volunteered at viturally all Judo Ontario run tournaments since 1990. Marie has been recognized previously for her dedication to the sport by Judo Ontario and this most recent recognition is one of the highest awards as it also required the agreement of the Judo Canada Grading Committee.

Marie after getting her black belt with Sensei Maurice and Brianna McDowell

For our club, she is a favourite Judo Mom and has provided countless hours of administrative support for which we will always be thankful.

Congratulations Marie!