Martial artists from Cochrane and Water Valley’s Trinity Taekwon-Do dojangs, brought home 35 medals from the ITF Alberta Provincial Championships on March 11.
The tournament took place at Genesis Place Recreation Centre in Airdrie, and hosted around 420 competitors. Trinity Taekwon-Do sent 26 athletes to compete, as well as two umpires, and instructor Cameron Macdonald as the head coach.
Of the 26 competitors, 20 were from the Cochrane dojang and six were from the Water Valley dojang. Of the six from Water Valley, five at the competition were from the Rowley family, who competed for their first time.
Competitors from Trinity Taekwon-Do who competed in the patterns, sparring, and board breaking divisions took home 35 medals, including seven gold, 13 silver, and 15 bronze.
Black belt Nathan Peacock took home gold in sparring, and two recent black belt students, Jager Sarmenta and Patton Buck, made their competitive debut in the black belt division. Sarmenta took home three medals from the Airdrie competition, including gold in the specialty board breaking division.
Blue belt Lucas Veroni and yellow belt Kye Bullock both found success in their sparring divisions, with Veroni taking home gold and Bullock taking home silver in a gripping overtime match.
Although his students took home several medals for their accomplishments, Macdonald said the bigger prize was being able to give his students the chance to experience a tournament setting, alongside the lessons that come with it.
“We want to go learn more things, we want to grow, meet new people, and try new things,” the head coach said. “We had several people try this for their first time, which is great, and we had several seasoned competitors competing at a high level.
“This tournament was all ages, all belt levels, and it was reflected by Trinity.”
Macdonald said his students were fantastic at the tournament and he is proud of what his dojangs accomplished. He hopes the recent success will inspire more of his students to test their skills in a tournament setting.
“I think that’ll have a trickle-down effect through the whole club and hopefully inspire others to go and try it out,” Macdonald said. “Competitions aren’t for everyone, but they are a lot of fun.
“As an instructor, I think it had a great effect on the success, the health, and the future of our club.”
Trinity Taekwon-Do has more tournaments planned in the future, including an in-house tournament taking place in April. The club also plans to send athletes to a national tournament on May 7 in Vernon, B.C.