Local players home from nationals
From the bumped-but-not-forgotten files comes word Oceanside had two teams in the mix at the recent Canadian National Taekwondo Championships in Vancouver, and both turned in some stellar performances.
Parksville Taekwondo Academy took 11 members to the big annual showcase.
Leading the charge for PTA was 15-year-old black belt Emily Swann who grabbed gold in U17 third dan black belt poomse (shadow boxing) and bronze in U17 poomse grand championships. Ashlee Barner Black, 14, placed top 12 in the black belt U13 poomse, and blue stripe Rebecca Marshall, 12, earned herself gold in both U17 intermediate sparring and poomse.
According to PTA coach Brett Fee the local club had “some great stories to take away from this competition.”
PTA’s MVP for the colour belts he said “was certainly Rebecca Marshall. She was in top form, and was dominant throughout the competition. She is only 12 years old,” said Fee, explaining she decided to step up to the U17 poomse division as there were no girls at her level to compete with in the U14’s, and she ended up winning gold “convincingly.”
In the sparring event Marshall “point gapped” her opponent in the gold medal final 12-0. Point gap means that when there is a 12 point gap after round two between two fighters, the leader automatically wins the fight, without having to go to a third and final round.
Other highlight’s included Swann’s gold medal win in third dan black belt U17 poomse division making her the U17 third dan black belt national poomse champion for 2013.
In terms of the black belt sparring, “I was very proud of everyone’s fighting spirit,” said Fee, adding “we competed well.”
Also making the trip over were Seth Fleming-Alho and Sarah Spooner who represented PTA at the Canadian National Referee Seminar. They are both B.C. provincial referees, and are in the process of earning their national referee status. “They are both very young and have a bright future as elite level referees,” said Fee, adding the highest level is the Olympics, “and there is no reason either of them cannot reach this goal one day if they continue all of their hard work. They both love Taekwondo, and this is their way to stay involved in Taekwondo, and give back to the martial art that has given so much to them over the years.”