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Help send taekwondo athletes on once-in-a-lifetime Korea trip through Westbank fundraiser

Their parents night ‘Sip for Kicks’ fundraiser is being held in Westbank on Saturday night, April 29
Five Taekwondo athletes from West Kelowna and Lake Country are raising money to go participate at the 2023 International Youth Sports Festival in Daegu, South Koera. (Team Kees Taekwondo)

A handful of teenagers from West Kelowna and Lake Country have their eyes set on making their names known in South Korea.

Five kids from Kees Taekwondo are raising money to go to Daegu, South Korea to take part in the 2023 International Youth Sports Festival, an event recognized by the International Olympic Committee. It is often refereed to as the ‘youth Olympics’.

On Saturday, April 29, the team is having a fundraiser in hopes to raise enough money to be able to go compete in an experience of a lifetime.

The coaches of the team, Lake Country’s Bryseia Konkin and West Kelowna’s Arielle Friesen, both competed in the International Youth Sports Festival in the past - Konkin in 2012 and Friesen in 2016.

To participate in the games, a few criteria have to be met, including that all athletes have to be invited, instead of qualifying for the games. The Central Okanagan representatives that plan on going to the games are Roxton and Jake from West Kelowna and Alex, Kya, and Madison from Lake Country.

The fundraiser the team is hosting on Saturday is called Sip for Kicks, a ‘parents night out’ tasting night that will have beer, wine, spirits, and ciders all available to try. Some of the local companies who will be on hand are Vice and Virtue Brewing, Lakesider Brewing Company, Summerhill Winery, and more man.

Taking place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Lions Hall in Westbank, the event will also feature appetizers, a photo booth, a silent auction, and music provided by DJ Krucial K. Tickets are $50 and for an extra fee, people can book shuttles that go to Kelowna ($20), Lake Country ($25), and Vernon ($30).

This year, the International Youth Sports Festival is expecting around 2,000 athletes from 95 delegations and 30 countries. An annual event since 1968, athletes from ages 12 to 15 compete in a variety of sports and cultural activities.

“The aim of the games is world peace through youth sports and cultural understanding,” says the Kees website, where more information can be found on the fundraiser.

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Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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