Students at Cheney’s Zen Karate and Kickboxing prepare Thursday for the Western Canadian Karate Championships that will happen Saturday at Hunting Hills High School. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Karate kids gear up for Western Canadian Karate Championships

More than 300 athletes to compete at the event on Saturday

Students at Cheney’s Zen Karate and Kickboxing were focused and prepared Thursday for a unique opportunity on the horizon.

Some of the best martial arts and karate athletes from across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and parts of B.C. will be in town this weekend for the 40th annual Western Canadian Karate Championships.

Master Instructor Lyle Cheney said from his studios between Red Deer, Lacombe and Calgary, Cheney’s will have approximately 150 students competing.

More than 300 karate athletes total between the ages of five and 65 will gather at Hunting Hills High School Saturday for the long-running tradition.

Eve Stange, 13, a karate student at Cheney’s said Thursday she’s been competing at the Western Canadians since she was seven-years-old.

She explained that it is the opening ceremonies and seeing how she measures up against her peers that has her excited for the competition.

“The opening part is cool, it shows what Martial Arts really are– the spiritual part of it, which I enjoy. I also like the sparring,” Stange said.

The teen got her start rather early in the sport, at age 5, when she was practicing in her living room and proclaimed to her mom that she wanted to do karate.

“I just really enjoyed it, and now I’m a brown belt. It’s just a great community and I love it so much,” she said.

Stange added that through her nearly eight-year journey in karate, what has kept her going is the confidence it helps her carry. Whenever there is trouble at school, she knows there is a positive environment at the karate studio to fall back on.

“I always found it safe here. I struggle at school socially but here I felt at home and I could be myself. I could be accepted,” she said.

While Stange takes comfort in the collective, Owen Gadiano, 11, said he loves to learn from others in the karate world.

“I think the most fun part is meeting new people and you are able to see what they can do and it pushes you to do more,” he said.

Gadiano not only hopes to better himself at the Western Canadian Championships this weekend but also hopes he can pick up a few tips along the way.

“When I match with someone close to my size and my own level, so it’s more of a challenge because they could get the point or I can get the point at the same time,” said Gadiano, who has been doing karate for the last four years.

Karate action starts at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at Hunting Hills High School.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update City Hall Park is set to begin Monday. The… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake begins

The 16 annual event began Friday and runs until Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Lunchtime tunes on Alexander Way

Final concert of the summer

Clearwater regional firefighters in B.C.

Crew operating west of Prince George

PHOTOS: Samson Cree Nation Pow Wow

The Samson Cree Nation hosted its annual Pow Wow, celebrating youth last weekend

WATCH: Feasting at Red Deer Ribfest this weekend

Ribfest runs until Sunday at Rotary Recreation Park

Death Valley worker has seen highest, lowest temperatures

LAS VEGAS — Thousands of tourists descend on Death Valley each summer… Continue reading

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

BANFF, Alta. — An internationally known ski resort in Banff National Park… Continue reading

Folk singer Ian Tyson cancels show due to ‘serious medical situation’

TORONTO — Canadian folk singer-songwriter Ian Tyson has cancelled his appearance at… Continue reading

Judge lifts publication ban, revealing details about Fredericton shooting

FREDERICTON — Newly released documents reveal how last week’s deadly attack unfolded… Continue reading

Canada’s tax system unfairly favours wealthy, poll of CRA auditors suggests

OTTAWA — A recent union-sponsored survey suggests an overwhelming majority of federal… Continue reading

Canadian soccer captain Christine Sinclair continues to lead fight against MS

TORONTO — Christine Sinclair continues to have an impact on and off… Continue reading

In Franklin’s anthems, women heard an empowering message

NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin never saw herself as a feminist heroine.… Continue reading

Happy birthday Boler: 100s of cute campers in Winnipeg for anniversary gathering

WINNIPEG — Angela Durand sits outside her camper which is decorated to… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month