Provincial tournament sees great turnout

Rian Vander Westhuizen

Rian Vander Westhuizen

By Jasmine Franklin

About 200 participants showed up for last weekend’s provincial karate tournament and out of those, almost 15 Ponoka members walked away with medals.

“These students work hard all year training and this gives them a chance to have a little fun and celebrate what they can do,” said David Jones, head of the province’s International Shotokan Karate Federation of Canada. “The students have really done a great job — once many of them realize how karate makes them feel they get addicted to it, but a good addicted.”

The following members of the Ponoka club received medals: Emily Lemur in second place, kumite, for white/yellow/orange belts in the nine to 11 years category; Samantha Vanderpol in second place for kata in the green/purple belt ages six to eight; Rian Vander Westhuizen, second place in kata for green/purple belts ages nine to 11; Couy McBride, third place for kata in green/purple belts ages six to eight.

Adult level medalists include Francine Lefeure, Minette Vander Westhuisen, Jennifer Neath and Ramil Ayuno.

In team kata, Ethan Verheire, Keith Vanderpol and Couy McBride won second place for the coloured belt division while Samantha Vanderpol, Kezziah Ayuno and Kailey Russel took third. Michelle Archibald, Minette Vander Westhuisen and Jennifer Neath took second place in the brown belt division.