Trinity Taekwon-Do took part in the ITF Western Canadian Championships in Saskatoon on May 17 and 18.
Trinity sent nine competitors to the event including seven colour belts and two black belts while instructor Cam Macdonald also took part in the championships where they brought home 10 medals.
Charlie Plouffe and Jager Sarmenta led the way with gold in the TKD kids event and in patterns respectively. Maelynn Plouffe also took home a gold medal in sparring while also winning bronze in patterns. Nathan Peacock won silver in patterns while Grayson Copley finished the event with silver in sparring and bronze in patterns. Carter Bly, Isla Moffatt and Tripp Sarmenta all finished with bronze in sparring.
Macdonald thought the championships went quite well for his athletes who partook in the event.
"I was pretty happy to see nine participants go. It was a bit of a drive for a competition, especially during May long weekend but we had a great time," Macdonald said. "There's some comradery that we get to build when people do these events. We had one student go to their first competitions and two of my more avid black belt competitors ventured out to Saskatoon to compete ... it's always nice to have a good mixture of athletes competing and in terms of the colour belts it was a lot of our newer members so it was really cool to see them enjoy the competition scene. It's not for everyone but those who enjoy it seem to be really eating it up."
With new members joining the group every year, Macdonald said the comradery being built from these trips can go a long way toward the club achieving consistent success.
"It's super important," he said. "To have a balance of having some consistent people who are avid competitors and go to every event, it helps bring in new people. They come back to the club, we talk about their achievements and recognize them for those accomplishments and that maybe fires up some of the other members to want to join in on competitions."
"We have lots of veteran competitors and new competitors which then starts that cycle all over again. Each year some people step more into the competitive scene as well as people who step away and focus more on themselves but the cycle is constant where the new kids try it and want to do it again so it's a good system and it works."
Western Canadian Championships are one of the larger tournaments that Trinity will complete in over the course of a calendar year. Macdonald said it's important to have good showings at these larger events to show the rest of the country that the little studio in Cochrane can compete with the best of them.
"It shows that people are embracing taekwon-do for what it offers. There are many different aspects of training ... somebody could be in taekwon-do with no interest of competing, they just want to be in it for fitness, self defence, self discipline or self-confidence," Macdonald said. "But there's also people who are in it for a sport to get the opportunity to compete with other people around the province or Canada. So the good showing at Western's, shows me that we're doing what taekwon-do is meant to do and that is appeal to everyone in the club. If I wasn't getting people going to tournaments, I'd feel like the club is lacking that element so seeing people want to go is doing what the club is supposed to be used for - giving people the chance to achieve what they want to achieve and compete."