Taekwondo tournament focuses on grassroots

The Island Open Taekwondo Championships now underway, registration open until May 4

Registration is now open for the Island Open Taekwondo Championships

Registration is now open for the Island Open Taekwondo Championships

Registration for the Island Open Taekwondo Championships is now underway and after a successful event last year, tournament director Brett Fee is looking forward to more success again with this year’s event.

The mission of the Island Open is simple: for everyone to enjoy themselves and to develop taekwondo athletes at the grass roots level. Registration is now open and for anyone looking to sign up, you can go to parksvilletkd.com and click on the Island Open link at the top of the page. Registration will run through until the May 4 deadline and spots are sure to fill up fast.

Coming off a great event last year, the Island Open is looking to once again entertain all comers, from ages four all the way up to 40-plus. With three belt divisions in each age division (white/yellow, green/blue and red/black), there is plenty of room for competition that will be taking place on Saturday, May 9 at the Parksville Curling Club.

“We’re all about starting at the grass roots level,” Fee said. “We want to be able to develop taekwondo right here on Vancouver Island and not have to have it where people need to travel to the Mainland or across Canada to train and become better. We feel that if you can start it early enough right here in your own back yard, the level of competition will grow as the athletes get older.”

In total, there are four events for athletes to compete in. Poomsae (forms), Pairs Poomsae, Sport Chanbara, where athletes compete with a short sword, and Olympic Sparring. It’s a single elimination format through each event, which will allow things to flow well, something that Fee knows is crucial to adding to the success of an event.

“You don’t want to see someone have to wait around hours in between bouts,” Fee said.

Hosting an open tournament gives the chance for taekwondo athletes to get their feet wet in a big tournament setting, where they might not have a chance to do so when it comes to other tournaments. The Island Open gives those a chance to gain some valuable tournament experience, even if it happens to be the first tournament they’re competing in.

“The thing about taekwondo is there aren’t a lot of open tournaments,” Fee said. “You have the big tournaments, like the Nationals and stuff like that, but having an open tournament allows more entry level competition, to give people that normally wouldn’t have a chance to see what a tournament is like to come in here and be able to compete. You might be new to the game, being an entry level competitor, but you also have the chance of running up against someone who’s been competing for a while as well.”

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