Local athletes continue to grow in sport
The hard work in the dojang in the basement of the YMCA is paying off in competitions.
© Katie Brickman
Kim's Moose Jaw YMCA Tae Kwon Do club recently competed at the Saskatchewan WTF Taekwondo provincials in Regina. The club sent 11 athletes and came back with a combined 24 medals. Back row (L-R) Warren Miller, instructor, Jesse Messner, Mackenzie Miller, Payton Longworth, Madison Miller, Brody Baumann and Nathan Douglas, instructor. Front row; Ryder Wells, Ryan Longworth, Brandon Beattie and Ryan Burke. Absent were Jordan McPherson and Tenaye Cridland. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
Kim’s Moose Jaw Taekwondo Club sent 11 athletes to the Saskatchewan WTF (World Taekwondo Federation) Taekwondo provincial championship in Regina last weekend and the group came home with 24 combined medals.
“Everyone did really well,” said Warren Miller, instructor at the club. “It was a really good turnout.”
Not only did all the athletes perform well, some competed in their first tournaments and thrived.
“Ryan Burke got gold in his pattern and silver in sparring and Brandon Beattie got double gold in their first tournament of the year,” said Miller. “They were so proud of themselves and we were proud of the way they handled themselves. You never know how kids are going to do when they go to their first tournament, some get scared, but they both really shined.”
Not only did first-timers do well, but Madison Miller and Jesse Messner both competed in divisions above themselves and performed exceptionally, winning medals.
“The difficulty for Madison is finding athletes in her weight class,” said Miller. “She was fighting in weight classes that are way above her weight. It was a good challenge for her.”
Both Brody Baumann and Ryan Longworth lost their first match and had to fight through three competitors for their gold medals in sparring.
There were approximately 100 athletes at the tournament that was open for all registered taekwondo practitioners in the province. Clubs send those that are ready to compete or want to compete, as some don’t like to compete.
“Competitions are only one aspect of taekwondo,” said Miller.
The level of competition was high, but consistent with what they have seen at prior provincials. A couple months ago, Saskatchewan was invited to the Manitoba provincial event. This time, some Manitoba athletes with black belts were invited.
“It was good because it broadened the pool of athletes,” said Miller.
As the club continues to practice and perform at competitions, they get to see the same and some different athletes, providing them with opportunities to grow, which is what Miller saw from all his students at the provincial event in Regina.
“As they move up through the belt ranks, the competition will get tougher. It is just about growing and continuing to set smart goals for the kids,” said Miller. “It is all about reaching that goal and learning more complicated techniques and pushing them outside their comfort zone.”
On the Sunday after the tournament, six of the 11 athletes from the local club took part in a Sask WTF goal setting camp. It was based to give those athletes that are keen on competitions a way to improve themselves.
“We really want to get other students from different schools to work together and collaborate and have the teachers collaborate to grow our provincial team and grow the sport in our province,” said Miller.
The next tournament for the club is on March 1 at the Grand Master Kim’s invitational championship in Regina.
Madison and Mackenzie Miller also continue to push themselves as they prepare for nationals in May.
Payton Longworth — gold in pattern; gold in sparring
Ryan Longworth — gold in pattern; gold in sparring
Jordan McPherson — silver in pattern; gold in sparring
Ryan Burke — gold in pattern; silver in sparring
Mackenzie Miller — gold in pattern; silver in sparring
Madison Miller — bronze in pattern; gold in sparring Division 1; silver in sparring Division 2
Brandon Beattie — gold in pattern; gold in sparring
Tenaye Cridland — silver in pattern; bronze is sparring
Jesse Messner — bronze in pattern; bronze in sparring Division 1; silver in sparring Division 2
Brody Baumann — silver in pattern; gold in sparring
Ryder Wells — silver in pattern; gold in sparring