The Island Open Taekwondo Championships were a success once again in Parksville.
There were well over 200 competitors taking place in the fifth annual Island Open at the curling club and with the athletes ranging from white belts all the way up to black belts, there was lots of action to take in.
For athletes nine and under, both individual and pairs poomsae (forms), sparring and sport chanbara. All competitors over the age of 10 also took place in poomsae and sparring.
“It was another great event,” director Brett Fee said. “It’s great to see all the athletes that get to come out and take part in the event.”
“We’ve been getting a lot of good feedback from everyone that comes out to the tournament, from the way it’s run on the floor all the way to being able to help accommodate sleeping arrangements for families that are travelling here from out of town.”
“Everything went very well and we’re happy with the result once again.”
With the mission to get athletes in at the grass roots level, Fee knows the importance of being able to put on an event like the Island Open, which gives those looking to perhaps start out with their first competition in taekwondo a chance to gain the experience and still have fun in the process.
“Lots of tournaments are super competitive,” Fee said.
“While there is competition throughout this tournament, it’s also a great way for the younger groups to get that experience of being part of a tournament and getting their feet wet that way.”
“We wanted to make sure to really make it available for the younger groups, as well as the more seasoned athletes, to take part so we can encourage the younger kids and help them develop in the art of taekwondo by being able to gain tournament experience at an early stage.”
It’s been a successful tournament since it’s inception and Fee knows that, with the right planning, it can remain successful for many more years.
“It’s a good thing to let people know this is going to be an annual thing for us,” Fee said.
“We’ve got a great venue at the Parksville Curling Club, where people can come in and have somewhere to sit and watch the competition, without having to walk on the mats where the athletes will be.”
“The space is there, it’s accessible for everyone and there’s really no better place to come than an arena that’s literally steps away from the ocean.”
While it is called the Island Open, Fee noted that groups come from everywhere.
“We had clubs from the mainland coming over,” he said.
“There were some schools here on the Island that I had never even heard of that are coming out of the woodwork, which is very encouraging to see.
“We must be doing something right with being able to make all that happen.”