The funding means sport in Nova Scotia will be more inclusive, more competitive and more successful. It will also allow more of our athletes and coaches to stay and train in Nova Scotia, and in the end, give back to their own communities.

Jamie Ferguson, CEO
Sport Nova Scotia

Whitney Lohnes

Sometimes powerful people come in pintsize portions

If late at night you were walking through a dangerous neighborhood, and were to cross paths with 16-year-old Whitney Lohnes, chances are you wouldn’t be concerned for your safety. If anything, you’d wonder why the adorable and defenseless 108 lb., 5’3” girl is wandering the streets alone.


Well, appearances can be deceiving and Whitney Lohnes is far from defenseless. To the contrary, Whitney Lohnes is a master of self-defense.


“I first started when I was eight years old,” explains Whitney. “Throughout elementary school I was bullied, so my parents thought it would be a good idea for me to learn to protect myself.”


Whitney took her parent’s advice to heart, and now, more than eight years later, Ms. Lohnes’ tiny body is a lethal weapon. Needless to say, her bullying problem disappeared.


The young Bridgewater-born girl is a star athlete and she has achieved national acclaim, in not one, but two sports. Although many athletes participate in multiple sports, few are as successful as Whitney. 


This year she qualified for two Canada Games sporting categories – wrestling and judo – an exceptional accomplishment.


While Whitney has excelled in both sports, Judo is her true passion.


“Judo provides all of life’s morals,” Whitney explains. “It provides self-confidence, respect for self and others, discipline, friendship, hard work and dedication, and self-defense. It is a wonderful sport and I strongly believe that no other sport can change a person as much as judo can.”


Whitney’s father is a judo instructor and the past president of Judo Nova Scotia. Her passion for the sport was undoubtedly passed down by him.


After competing at a provincial and national level for several years, Whitney was determined that this year she’d go number one in her division.


“At the beginning of the year I set a goal for myself and it was to place first at junior nationals and to be selected for the junior team for world’s. I worked hard throughout the whole year, working out at the gym and going to all the training camps and tournaments,” says Whitney.


It was important that Whitney had the opportunity to train against athletes in her own division, and unfortunately very few competitors in her weight class live in Nova Scotia. If Whitney were to achieve her goal of winning first place at the upcoming national tournament, it would require a lot of traveling. There were a handful of training camps where she could get the experience she needed, but getting to them would be expensive.


On the day that Whitney’s family discovered the Support4Sport program, the young athlete knew that she was one step closer to her objective. 


“The funding I received helped greatly,” she says. “Because of the funding I was able to attend tournaments and camps in North America and around the world.  I improved myself by going to these camps.”


When Whitney finally arrived at the National Junior Judo competition in Montreal, she knew that her hard work had been worthwhile.


“I could feel the progress I’d made during the year, not just by my technique but also in my strength, and confidence. When I won, I was more excited to have achieved the goal I’d set for myself, than to win the title of ‘number one in Canada’,” Whitney says.


Preparing for the upcoming 2011 Canada Winter Games will give Whitney yet another goal to conquer.


Bridgewater, NS
44° 22' 43.7052" N, 64° 32' 13.65" W


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