Elite taekwondo athlete Teya Doughty recently returned from her first tournament of the season. Doughty, from Port Alberni, has been fighting in the sport since she was in Grade 5 and after graduating from ADSS last June, she was debating whether to continue at such a high calibre.
Her passion for taekwondo won over and she is continuing with intense training and a busy schedule of tournaments over the next few months.
“After grad, I wanted to see what it would be like without it, but I went to two training camps in the summer and realized how much I love it,” Doughty said.
“I decided to go back.”
On Oct. 15, Doughty attended the 2016 BC Taekwondo Masters Cup at BCIT where she fought a national champion and a 2017 Junior Worlds Champion contender, Josipa Kafadar.
“She is in Grade 11 and trains seven days a week,” Doughty said. “Even though she won, she brought me on the podium with her. It was really fun because I met up with a bunch of people I train with from Team BC.”
Doughty trains three days a week in Parksville and one day in Victoria, where she has a high-level coach. He recently moved to Canada from Mexico and is passionate about giving his students new opportunities. That is why he is bringing a group to his former school for five days of intense training in April.
“It is a world class training facility in Mexico where the students live, go to school and train,” Doughty said.
Before that, Doughty will be gaining valuable experience. On the first weekend of November, she travels to Vancouver to train with Olympic team member, Melissa Pagnotta.
“I saw her at Nationals this year and wished her luck in the Olympics and she said the same to me for my match, so that was pretty cool,” Doughty said.
At the end of January, she will attend the US Open in Las Vegas, followed by a tournament in Seattle and the Provincials in Vancouver.
“I’m aiming to win my match at the Nationals in Montreal this year,” Doughty said. “Even though I didn’t win (at the BC Cup), I will have a lot under my belt before the Nationals.”
Not only does Doughty have support from her coach and Team BC teammates, her family encourages her to do her best. Parents Rhonda and Mike Doughty chalk up the financial and time commitment to experience.
“It is important to do things at this age while you can,” Rhonda said. “We have seen big improvements in her from all the work she put in last year.”
Doughty is balancing studies at North Island College and a part-time job in her schedule but said she has no regrets for continuing with her sport.
“I would have regretted it 100 per cent if I didn’t go back,” she said.
“I love the sport and want to get better. They are like a family in Victoria.”