The 2013 Vancouver Island Taekwondo Championships is in the can, and the future of the sport looks to be on solid footing in these parts.
Played out last Saturday at the Parksville Curling Club, this is the second year in a row the big event has been hosted by the Parksville Taekwondo Academy, which will continue to host the event.
“It went really well,” PTA master Brett Fee said later when The NEWS caught up with him, adding there were about a dozen clubs and some 260 competitors ranging in age from five to 45 in the mix.
PTA standouts included the likes of Ryan Campbell, 14, who garnered gold in both poomse (forms) and sparring in the low black belt division.
“He fought guys probably 20 pounds heavier than him and he won both his matches in sudden death overtime,” said Fee.
Cole Schiml, 13, also a low-black, garnered triple gold by taking first in poomse, sparring and chambara (patted sword sparring).
Also earning props was plucky six-year-old yellow stripe Mickey Foster who earned gold in sparring.
“He dominated both his matches,” said Fee. “It wasn’t even close.”
Also earning props for their efforts were the brother sister duo of Alexander Marshall, 11, and Rebecca Marshall, 13.
Both were competing as blue belts, and both bagged double gold with first place finishes in their poomse and sparring events.
“We had almost a hundred competitors from both our Parksville and Qualicum schools come out and compete, and all the kids did really well,” said Fee, adding “some were a little nervous because it was their first time, but it’s all about gaining experience and having fun.”
“That’s why we’re doing it, so they can learn,” he said, adding “every student who signed up participated and did their best, and that’s an accomplishment.”
“One of our big goals for this event is to develop our local athletes at the grassroots level, and the other is to develop our local referees and officials, which as also a big part of this, so the quality of the event is improving as the quality of the officiating improves.”
PTA, he points out, currently lists four provincial level referees and several more in training.