Sicamous and Salmon Arm Provincial Martial Arts students travelled to Kelowna on April 27 to compete in the Tae Kwon Do International Open Canadian Championships.
The tournament hosted 180 competitors from across Canada, the United States and England. Everyone who participated competed in sparring and forms divisions.
Danette Rampton and her eight-year-old son Houston Rampton from Salmon Arm both brought home gold medals in their forms divisions. This was a huge accomplishment for Danette, who was competing in her first martial arts competition. She also placed silver in sparring. This mother/son team will be travelling to Calgary for another tournament this weekend.
Gabriel Walsh from Salmon Arm came in fourth place in sparring and fifth place in forms, going up against 14 kids in his division. Salmon Arm’s An-Mei Andreassen, 15, took gold in sparring in the girls 15 to 17 year-old division. This was the first time that she had competed in this type of tournament.
In the Black Belt Women’s division, Lindsey Christian-Hack, 14, pulled off a silver medal in sparring. Not only was this her first martial arts competition, she competed in the women’s division, and held her own sparring against a two-time Canadian champion with world competition experience. With a bit more hard work and competition experience, she is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
Matt Veerman of Salmon Arm competed in the men’s blue-black stripe division, placing third in forms. Veerman is travelling to Calgary this weekend to compete in the Calgary Open Martial Arts Tournament.
Salmon Arm’s Ben Eddy, 11, came in second place in his forms division. He competed against boys up to age 13 and managed to hold his own in the sparring division as well.
Another mother/son team, Cynthia and Nicolas Michaud of Sicamous, also participated in the competition. Cynthia brought home a well-deserved bronze medal in her sparring division. Nicolas did not place this time, but says that he is eager to compete again.
All of these students, along with the others who train with Provincial Martial Arts in the Shuswap, are now training for the local tournament being hosted in Salmon Arm this June.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my students,” says coach Holly Raczynski.
“They all stepped out of their comfort zones and challenged themselves against other martial artists in what can be a very intimidating type of competition. They all did amazingly well, had great attitudes, and showed professional sportsmanship at the tournament.
“I am looking forward to future events with these students and the others that train with us.”
For information on how to get involved with the program, visit www.provincialmartialarts.com or call 250-253-2406.