Taekwondo success

Parksville students earned medals in North Vancouver

Danielle Easthom (left) was one of seven Parksville Taekwondo athletes competing at the B.C. Taekwondo Championships. Easthom would go on to win a gold medal in her sparring event

Parksville Taekwondo had something to be proud of as seven of their members returned from the B.C. Taekwondo Championships in North Vancouver with four gold medals.

Taking place at Capilano University, the 2015 B.C. Taekwondo Championship is one of two competitions that B.C. Taekwondo organizes every year.

Sending a small group of competitors to the event, it was a successful and enjoyable time for the group from Parksville Taekwondo who worked very hard to prepare.

Bringing home gold medals were 11-year-old Shelby Bell (blue belt), 8-year-old Billy Snyder (white belt), seven-year-old Danielle Easthom (yellow belt) and nine-year-old Sydney Easthom (red belt).

Also representing Parksville Taekwondo at the event were 15-year-old Brett Swann (black belt), 11-year-old Griffin Easthom (black belt) and nine-year-old Jessie Bell (blue belt).

“I was very impressed with everything they did,” Master Brett Fee said. “They all showed great composure and camaraderie.”

“They’re all friends and everyone showed great support with each other, cheering one another on and that’s what makes this sort of thing fun.”

Shelby Bell, Billy Snyder and Danielle Easthom earned their gold medals in the sparring event, while Sydney Easthom earned a gold medal in the patterns event.

Brett Swann also had a good showing with a hard fought match in the junior black belt category, but fell just short when time expired in his match.

“Brett’s on the upswing right now,” Fee said. “He’s taking part in an exclusive spring break training camp, along with his sister Emily, which is run by High Performance Athletes and Coaches in Maple Ridge.”

“It’s a well-respected taekwondo sparring program and they’re both going to come out of that camp with lots of training and experience to use in their next competitions, which for Brett will be the Island Open on May 9, right here in Parksville.”

Three other athletes from Parksville Taekwondo, Sherman Campbell (an 18-year-old black belt), Shelby Bell and Memphis Cluley (a 13-year-old red belt) will be attending a training camp during spring break with Master Dan Thornton (Team Canada Junior World Coach) in Surrey.

“We have a deep club, with a lot of young athletes coming up,” Fee said.

“They are getting their feet wet training with some coaches and fighters who will be challenging them to the max.”

“I like it,” Fee said, “because when they come back to our gym, they are enthusiastic and ready to share and apply what they learned.”

“This is how we grow as a school, and stay relevant and competitive while living and training on Vancouver Island.”

There will be lots of talent on hand in Parksville on May 9, both locally and from across Vancouver Island, when the Island Open takes place at the Parksville Curling Club.

Registration for the event is open and will come to a close on May 4.

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