Two Fernwood siblings proved they are among the best taekwondo athletes in the country in their age groups.
Siân Cummings, 14, and brother Paul, 12, earned silver and gold sparring medals, respectively, in their belt divisions at the Taekwondo National Championships held last month at the University of Calgary.
“I was happy with my gold medal and very excited for next year,” said Paul, who won the junior/black stripe division in his first appearance at nationals and is working toward achieving his full black belt.
Heading into the competition, the siblings admitted they were nervous, but weeks of training with Team B.C. in Vancouver in the six weeks leading up to nationals helped calm their nerves. That training became particularly important for Siân, who made it as far as the gold-medal fight in the under-55 kilogram black belt division.
“I was upset that I lost my fight in the finals, because that means I didn’t get gold, but I’m really happy I made it that far,” she said, adding she’s grateful for the support of her coaches at Cascadia Martial Arts. “I think of all the training that I’ve done and all the work that I’ve put in … that helped me perform at my best.”
While this was also Siân’s first appearance at nationals, she’s no stranger to high-level competition. Earlier this year, she competed in the U.S. Open Taekwondo Championships in Las Vegas, where she made it to the quarter-finals.
The pair plan to focus on building their muscle and increasing their cardio capacity throughout the summer, as well as learning new techniques in preparation for the coming season.
Their next competition is in Las Vegas in October and is a qualifier for the 2019 Pan-American Games, which both Paul and Siân are aiming for down the road.