Morning Star Staff
Sundance Taekwon-Do in Vernon hosted Canadian team head coach Chelsea Stone for an elite competition training camp.
A total of 35 athletes from as far away as Montreal participated as they prepare for the upcoming International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) North American and Caribbean Championships being held in Richmond in November.
At least five national team members, including the club’s Kelly Kinniburgh, took advantage of the opportunity and trained alongside 30 other athletes and coaches working to better their skills and jumpstart the new tournament season.
“We strive to bring our members the best opportunities to train and work toward the highest levels in our martial art and sport,” said David White, Sundance head instructor.
Chelsea Stone holds a sixth-degree black belt and is an international instructor and examiner with the ITF. She is a 16-time national sparring champion and has competed at the international level since her first world championships in 2000.
Teaching and training out of Regina, she is head coach for the Canadian team and also a coach for the Saskatchewan team.
“I was on an emotional high leaving the training camp mainly from the positive energy of the participants,” said Stone. “I appreciate the trust put in me by the athletes to help coach them and put them in the right direction.”
Training consisted of three different sessions held over two days. Athletes worked on the latest technical updates for patterns competition, which has become very standardized under the new ITF competition rules. Athletes also worked on several drills designed to increase natural movement, core strength and agility.
Traveling from Montreal was Richard Nguyen, a former national team member who was on the national coaching staff at the 2015 World Championships in Italy.
“Training was fun, it was great to learn and spar with many different athletes,” said Nguyen.
Sundance Taekwon-Do hopes to bring more training opportunities like this to its members. The local school will be sending a large team of 20 plus athletes to the upcoming championships.
For more information, visit www.sundancemartialarts.com or call 250-306-2285. Classes are now forming.