Four young Sooke residents earn black belt in taekwondo

Dawn Gibson

Sooke News Mirror

At astonishingly young ages, these four kids have fought hard for their success.

Sooke taekwondo students, Presley Banys, 11, Ella McDonald, 14, Luke Hopkins, 11, and Rhys Neveu, 12, earned their black belts after approximately five years of training at Mijo Sport.

Michelle Carpenter, teakwondo instructor and co-owner of Mijo Sport, said the students attended classes twice weekly in Sooke, as well as regularly attended extra classes on Saturdays at Mijo’s location in Esquimalt.

“This is something that I never thought I would achieve,” said taekwondo black belt Ella McDonald. “The best part about getting my black belt is that it’s going to create huge opportunities for me, it could help me obtain a scholarship to get into university. I proved to myself and others around me that if you put your mind to something, it doesn’t matter what age you are, anything is possible.”

The black belt test was held at the Esquimalt Rec Centre on Saturday, June 24th and was approximately four hours in duration.

The test was made up of multiple components including: dynamic kicking combinations (jumping, spinning and flying kicks), poomse, which is a series of routines, for all coloured belt levels before black and the First-Degree Dan Black Belt Poomse, self defence techniques against a peer attacker created by themselves, board breaking using hand and foot techniques and an essay about what Taekwondo means to them.

“They’ve all worked so hard and are such committed and great kids,” said Carpenter. “At times all of them have struggled in various capasities but they have all perservered to get to this big achievement. It’s been a really important journey for these kids and I think it formed them into really positive role models.”

The students are now able to start assisting and learning how to teach their own classes, but can also continue training and in two years can take their second-degree black belt.

“These kids have shown tremendous perseverance and indomitable spirit. Their dedication and passion for the sport resulted in a tremendous performance at their black belt testing,” said Carpenter.

Achieving their black belts means the four students will now become registered First-Degree Poom Black Belts with the Kukkiwon which is the Taekwondo headquarters in Korea.

“You’re dreams don’t work unless you do. I worked so hard to get my black belt and now that I have it I am so incredibly amazed by myself,” said McDonald. “One of my biggest goals is to start teaching, I’ve already started helping out with some classes. I just want to keep training and go as far as I can with it.”


Just Posted

Library’s French collection gets $15,000 boost

Provincial grant adds extra French-language materials to Greater Victoria Public Library collection

Emily Carr Quartet to perform in Sooke

Show begins at 7 p.m. at the Sooke Harbour House on Feb. 28

Man charged in suspected Greater Victoria bus assault

The Victoria Police Department has arrested a man for sexual assault aboard… Continue reading

Celebrating the heroic dogs of Saanich past

Cedar Hill exhibit features great dogs of history

Rookie boxer gains new self-confidence

After ten weeks of training ‘Killer’ Gibson is ‘unstoppable’

President praises nearly 1,800 volunteers at B.C. Games

Ashley Wadhwani sits down with the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games President Niki Remesz

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

The way government learn someone has died is getting a digital overhaul

Governments in Canada turned to private consultants 2 years ago to offer blueprint

Bobsleigh team misses Olympic medal finish

Canadian team finishes four-man event 0.84 seconds behind first place, 0.31 seconds from podium

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Minor injuries after car veers into Courtenay dance studio

A driver and passenger were taken to hospital after their vehicle crashed… Continue reading

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Cougars hold upper hand on Westshore in VIJHL South semifinal

Victoria leads series 2-0, games 3 and 4 go tonight and tomorrow

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

Most Read