Martial artists fight it out for national berth

Courtenay Brake and Valerie Doyon are going to the Karate Canada National Championships in Toronto. - Photo courtesy of Campbell River karate club
Courtenay Brake and Valerie Doyon are going to the Karate Canada National Championships in Toronto.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Campbell River karate club

Last weekend two local girls competed for the right to attend Karate Canada National Championships held in Toronto on March 15-17.

Valerie Doyon competed in the girls 16/17 division and qualified in both the kata (forms) and the kumite (sparring) divisions. Courtenay Brake competed in girls 16/17 kumite in her attempt at going to nationals and qualified in her division.

This is Doyons’ second trip to nationals, taking a bronze medal last year.

The girls were both in the same division so had to compete against each other in order to qualify; fortunately they do this regularly at the Campbell River Karate Club several times a week so they weren’t nervous, says their coach Roy Tippenhauer.

In order to qualify, each athlete had to place in the top four on Vancouver Island (zone 6 ) and then place in the top four at provincials and be invited to the Karate BC squad. From there they had to compete against the other top four provincial athletes in a round robin where they had to compete against all the other competetors in the division.

A top two finish is required to be invited to Karate Canada’s National Championships. This weekend the girls need to compete at the zone qualifier for next year’s season which is pushed forward this year due to Karate Canada having its 2014 nationals in January.

Both athletes train at the local Campbell River Shito Ryu Karate club and are coached by  Tippenhauer.

“I’m very proud of both girls, they have put in the extra effort and have both achieved a personal best,” Tippenhauer said. “The experience they will have will last a lifetime.”

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