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Another top-notch tournament for Whitecourt Taekwondo


The 28th Annual Whitecourt Taekwondo Championship, in loving memory of Master Rennie Sr, took place at the Allan & Jean Millar Centre on Saturday January 27.  The full-day event featured athletes from Saskatchewan, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and across Alberta, including over 70 local participants.

“We had 290 fighters take part which is a very good year for Whitecourt Taekwondo, to have such a good turnout, especially for a winter tournament” said Master Jim Rennie.  On top of a fantastic number of participants, Jim also noted that over 1000 people came through the door during the championship.

The event was made up of several different events including patterns and sparring.  “There’s also sanctions.  These are the people that are trying to qualify to go to Nationals in the black belt division.  We also have a grassroots level for fighting, where black belts that just want more experience but maybe not to fight within their weight category, maybe they want to fight with some heavier guys, just to get experience” explained Master Rennie.

Another neat event that took place was Family Patterns, which Jim competed in alongside his daughter.  “That’s something that is very special, that in an individual sport, you’re able to do it together.  All the family patterns were so cool to watch.  All these parents and kids, or a bunch of siblings, all working together.”

One of the most popular events, Team Tile Breaking, drew a large crowd as teammates of all ages came together to compete for both bragging rights, and a big trophy.  This year, it was team Westlock versus team Whitecourt.  “There’s been quite a rivalry on Facebook, over the last month, over this specific event and Westlock won it today, fair and square.  I’m very proud to see how strong their team is” said Master Rennie.  “It was a very close game.”

Since taekwondo can be made to suit any age, or physical ability, the athletes who took part ranged in age from four-60+.  This diversity is one of the reasons that the sport is very popular with families, as everyone can take part together.  One great example of that is Jim’s own family, which had five members involved.  “Three of us took part, a fourth family member was the coach of all of them and the fifth was here cheering all day.  Also, my niece, Emmy, she got her first uniform today, so she got out in the ring and demonstrated a little pattern too.  This is something that the whole family takes part in.”

Within the taekwondo community, the Whitecourt club is known for putting together well-run events, such as the weekend championship.  “Our volunteers know what to do because it’s the same group that has done it in previous years and we’re always grooming new volunteers so that people can do different jobs simply because they know how.  Our volunteers walk in here and we start on time, which doesn’t happen at any other tournament in Alberta” explained Master Rennie, proudly.

Congratulations to all the athletes on a job well done!  To see more from the championship, check out the videos on our Facebook page.


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