It’s the holiday season, and in the spirit of giving, Nick Tritton is offering youth in the community the opportunity to grab a year-long pass to his gym, Tritton Performance, for free.
“I want to try and give back a little bit to a community that has done a lot for us in terms of supporting our athletes, but also give back to them in regards to allowing some people to do a support they maybe couldn’t afford or didn’t even know about,” said Tritton, who is married to Kahnawa’kehró:non Cheyenne Rice and has stepchildren from Kahnawake.
With a one-year membership, individuals have access to classes – both wrestling and judo – at Tritton Performance, and full gym access. The only cost would be the Judo Quebec insurance fees, which are around $60 per year.
Tritton is hoping to ideally offer memberships to youth ages seven to 12, though he can be flexible should community members who are a little younger or older want to be involved. He said there’s no deadline to claim a pass, but he’s hoping to start students at the beginning of January.
“We want people who are serious about being there. There will be an agreement that they show up at least once or twice a week,” Tritton said. “We don’t want people to not go, because they’re not really learning anything then. We want to bring them in and have them be a part of our team.”
Tritton said it’s always been important to him to make sport accessible and that he does everything he can to work with families to make sure their children are able to enjoy judo and wrestling without financial burdens.
“I always work with anybody’s budget. If a family comes in and they have multiple kids, and they can only afford to have one kid, the other ones do it for free. I’ve always had that concept of running a business,” he said.
Kahnawa’kehró:non Nick Cross has felt Tritton’s generosity first-hand. Coming into Tritton Performance at age 13, Cross took his first countrywide championship medal within his first year of judo. Now 20, Cross said that he owes it all to his coach, Tritton.
“Nick’s an extremely caring coach. He’s helped me in so many ways. He’s helped me with a lot of tournament fees. He’s helped me even if I didn’t bring enough money to eat at a restaurant or a tournament, he pitched in and helped me out. He’s not just done that for me, he’s done that for countless teammates,” Cross said. “Nick was always there watching my back. Always.”
Being at Tritton Performance throughout the years has been a huge part of Cross’ life, and he thoroughly encourages any youth in the community to tryout judo or wrestling at the gym.
“Looking back and seeing how far I’ve come, especially with my own personal victories with mental health, school, and even the workforce, I’ve had all these milestones because I’ve always had a very supportive community at the gym,” Cross said.
“It’s a family environment. It’s so meaningful. I’ve seen people who didn’t really have friends or who didn’t have confidence come through the doors, and suddenly they’re friends with everybody and they’re super confident and happy, and they’re doing amazing in their life,” Cross said.
“A lot of life decisions I’ve taken so far have come from the mentorship not only of Nick but also the other athletes in the gym who come from all different walks of life.”
Cross’s advice for any youth thinking of claiming a pass is simple.
“My advice is to give it a shot. You’ve got nothing to lose. Martial arts teaches you so much about yourself,” he said. “Because of it, I have a home away from home. I have a second family, people always rooting for me, always cheering me on. It’s very empowering.”
Interested families can reach out to Tritton Performance directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tritton also encourages community members to sign up for free trials at the gym.
This article was originally published in print on Friday, November 24, in issue 32.47 of The Eastern Door.