Members of Kootenay Tae Kwon Do (KTD) took part in an international competition hosted at the University of Lethbridge over the May 8-10 weekend.
The KTD team, led by Master Sant Saran, consisted of 33 competitors who brought home a collective 27 medals after sparring against teams from Norway, Great Britain, Australia, the United States and Canada.
Among the hardware were golds in both the sparring and pattern portions of the competition.
“Our club is very fortunate to be able to compete in such a high caliber tournament so close to home and it is a great stepping stone for our students that will be competing in Budapest in 2016,” said Gena Paton with Kootenay Tae Kwon Do.
One of the gold medal recipients Andrew Nixon, 11, also received a bronze medal for his efforts at the competition.
Having only been participating in the sport since August, Andrew’s dad Troy said it’s a great sport for both his sons to take part in. His other son, Harrison, 7, was also at the Lethbridge tournament.
“It’s been awesome seeing them improve and the coaches Gena and Master Saran have been excellent in training them,” said Troy.
Following appearances at the World Cup in Jamaica last August, the KTD team had trained for the last year and a half in anticipation of the tournament.
“You have to be tournament sharp and the more exposure you can get from other fighters the better for our students,” said Paton.
The competition in Budapest will see between almost 2000 competitors from all over the world spar against one another.
“The level of excitement for TKD is high and it brings a love of the sport back to our students it makes them want to be the best that they can,” said Paton of the road to Budapest.