Canadian national karate team selected
Hopefuls for the Canadian national karate team were put through their paces in Olds last week, culminating in the selection of seven members and alternates to represent the country for the next two years in various competitions.
On Friday night, the hopefuls were put through a variety of tests such as broad jumps, high jumps, dexterity and flexibility, while Saturday was spent doing kata or forms, in which the competitors showed coaches their mastery of various moves that might be used during a bout. On Sunday, the competitors were put through a final set of kata and then sparred with one another to decide who would represent Canada. A slate of coaches then evaluated all the events throughout the weekend, including the sparring, to decide the team.
During the first year after the selection, the team will travel to various clubs around the country to give club members the ability to spar against those representing Canada, said Sensei Ron Mattie, the coach of the national team. In October 2013, the team will travel to Italy for a World Traditional Karate Association tournament, followed by a tournament in Scotland the following spring. The team could also compete in tournaments in California and Las Vegas following the Scottish tournament, although that has yet to be confirmed.
“Italy and Scotland, it’s a sure thing. The other ones, it’s whether the team is … available, because a lot of them are in school, and some are working so you have to try getting them all at the same time,” he said.
Mattie, who hails from Welland, Ont., said at each tournament the team travels to, it conducts clinics with local children, teaching them the skills they need to become better at karate.
“The team runs the workshop and they really encourage the little kids. We play … martial arts games with them. The little kids … really get pumped up and motivated,” he said.
A wide range of ages is represented on the team, with the youngest competitors about 16 and the oldest sometimes in their 50s.
Zachary Raymond of Calgary will be representing Canada in the heavyweight division, while Brodie Hicks of Peterborough, Ont. was selected to fight in the middleweight division. Chris Reynolds of Lindsay, Ont. will fight in the heavyweight division while Bernadine Jugett of Edmonton will fight in the female lightweight division. Ashleigh Fedyk of Calgary will compete in the female heavyweight division. Christian Boivin of Calgary and Scott Hill of Tillsonburg, Ont, will both compete in the heavyweight division.