Two Goulds karate clubs clean up at big tourneys

     Two different martial arts schools in the Goulds cleaned up in the medal count at separate international tournaments recently.
     Fourteen students from Alex Foley’s Academy of Martial Arts participated in the ISKA World Championships in Orlando, Florida, the second largest martial arts tournaments in the world. The students ranged in ages from 6-16 years, with belt colours from yellow to red.
     Representatives from some 38 countries participated in the tournament.
     The other group of 25 competitors, from Rick Windsor’s Cabot Taekwon-do Club based in the Goulds Rec Centre, won 33 medals in London, Ontario.
Member Rhonda Johnson, a teacher and mother of four girls who also practice Taekwon-do, was part of the 43 member crew from the Goulds club who went on that trip.
     “It was excellent,” Johnson said.
     This year’s event actually built on a trip the club made last year to Oakville, Ontario to participate in a major tournament. “Last year we had 15 go, including parents,” Johnson explained.
     The experience was so positive, a parent committee got together and initiated a big fundraising drive so more children and parents could attend the tournament this year, which included athletes from all over Canada and the United States.
Johnson herself won a medal at this year’s tournament. The club won a trophy for being the Most Supportive School.
     “Although not everyone received a medal, every single student worked very hard and represented our school extremely well,” said Johnson.
     A contingent of about 45 people, including athletes and parents, represented Foley’s kenpo karate club in Disney for the Orlando tournament.
     “It was my first time organizing something like that,” said Foley. “We were fundraising for it all year and the kids did a lot of work. We got down there and their minds were blown… The whole goal for me was to get them down there and get them the experience. So now they’re back and they’re motivated and they know what they have to do for the next one. So I think that part was accomplished… So it was a pretty huge experience for them.”
     Foley’s athletes trained three to four times a week before the tournament. At the event itself, the team members cheered wildly whenever one of them was in a competition, he noted. A number of the participants got hurt during the tournament. “But it was just small stuff, like a hurt ankle or shin, or bruised ribs,” said Foley. “Nothing got broken.”
     Foley himself was supposed to compete, but had to bow out because of an injury involving his sciatic nerve.
     Next year, Foley is hoping to take a team to the Irish Open in Ireland, also one of the biggest karate tournaments in the world.
     The medal winners and finalists among Foley’s team included: Zack Connolly, 1st place advanced clash sparring, 3rd place advanced point sparring; Ryan Bennett, 1st place intermediate clash sparring; Evan Parrot, 3rd place intermediate clash sparring; Isabella Lee, 3rd place intermediate point sparring; Landen Lee, 3rd place novice point sparring; Thomas Power, 2nd place advanced clash sparring; Hailey Vickers, 2nd place intermediate point sparring, 3rd place intermediate clash sparring; Aaron Peddle, 3rd in 7 years boys novice point sparring; Gabrielle Williams, 1st place in intermediate clash sparring; Emily Peddle: finalist in intermediate point fighting and clash sparring; Liam Janes, finalist in novice point and clash sparring; Isaac Slaney, finalist in beginner point and clash sparring; Amber Williams, finalist in beginner point sparring; and Faith Patey, finalist in intermediate continuous and point sparring.
     The Cabot Taekwon-do medal winners included Jeff Butt, Patterns Gold, Sparring Gold; Aaliyah Churchill, Sparring Gold; Colleen Churchill, Sparring Gold; Mary Clarke, Patterns Bronze; William Bidgood and Michael Deir,  Patterns Gold, Sparring Bronze; Thomas Deir, Patterns Gold, Sparring Bronze; Dylan Elliott, Sparring Gold; Kelly Elliott and Mikayla Fennelly, Sparring Gold; Alex Johnson, Patterns Silver, Sparring Silver; Elizabeth Johnson, Sparring Bronze; Rhonda Johnson, Patterns Silver, Sparring Gold; Alyssa Little, Sparring Silver; Arielle Little, Patterns Bronze, Sparring Gold; Kenny Matchett and Kathy Ricketts, Patterns Bronze, Sparring Silver; Lauren Pennell, Patterns Gold, Sparring Gold; Colleen Stack, Patterns Silver, Sparring Gold; Jacob Stack, Sparring Silver; Connor Stack, Sparring Silver; Olivia Wilson and Riley Wilson, Sparring Silver; Jamie Whitten, Patterns Silver, Sparring Silver; Benjamin Winsor, Patterns Bronze, Sparring Gold.

Posted on August 7, 2015 .