Final preparations are taking place at the Sundance Martial Arts centre in Vernon, as Jack Sharkey gets set to compete in his first ever taekwondo national championships.
The International Taekwondo Federation World Championships (ITFWC) take place Sept. 4-10 in Tampere, Finland.
The 14-year-old Sharkey will be competing in the pre-junior boys (over 65 kg) sparring event.
Sharkey was first invited to the national training camp and selections back in May at the Canadian National Championships, held at Vernon’s Kal Tire Place. The nationals training camp was in Regina, Saskatchewan in July and served as an opportunity for athletes to train for events such as patterns, sparring, special technique (flying) and power breaking.
The ITFWC will host 1,200 black belt athletes from over 60 countries, competing out of the Tampere Exhibition and Sports Center. The event was initially scheduled to take place in 2021, but was postponed due to travel restrictions related to the pandemic.
Sharkey’s first matchup, on Wednesday, Sept. 6, will be against an Uzebekistan athlete.
“It’s a great honour to represent my team and my country at the World Championships,” said the Grade 10 VSS student. “I’m excited to be able to compete at this level and will give it my all.”
Coaching up the Vernon local will be David White, who runs Sundance.
“We are all excited for Jack to have this opportunity to compete at the highest level in the sport,” said White. “He is a dedicated student who works hard at not only improving his own game but also helping others do the same.”