Hants County athletes win big at first taekwondo tournament

Published on June 7, 2014

Dylan Hayman, Noah Beaton, Brianna Webster, Olivia McKenzie, Madison Swinamer, and Sam Swinamer returned to Hants County with a total of 14 medals after competing at a New Brunswick taekwondo tournament. (Submitted photo)

Students at Castro’s TKD Academy claimed 14 medals at the New Brunswick Open Taekwondo Tournament earlier this year.

The Hantsport-based club sent seven athletes to the tournament, where they competed with 220 other taekwondo practitioners from N.B., N.S. and P.E.I. This was the first tournament for all seven students from Castro’s TKD Academy.

“It was absolutely fantastic to see our students perform so well in their first tournament ever,” said Fidel Castro, founder of the academy. “They faced opponents with many more tournaments and experience under their belts, yet our students performed with ease. They made all of us proud.”

The athletes competed in two categories — forms and sparring. A “form” is a defined set of attack and defense motions. Competitors were assessed based on a number of criteria including: accuracy of movements, speed, power and expression of energy. Sparring consists of two sets of ninety-second bouts against each opponent. Competitors wear special, electronic sensor-laden chest protectors which record and award points for each completed kick and punch.

Results of the competition are as follows:

Hantsport’s Brad Webster won gold in both forms and sparring.

Dylan Hayman, of Hantsport, received a gold in forms; bronze in sparring.

Brianna Webster, also of Hantsport received silver for sparring and bronze for sparring.

Olivia McKenzie, of Three Mile Plains, earned gold in forms; bronze in sparring. Madison Swinamer, of Three Mile Plains, received silver in both forms and sparring, while Sam Swinamer took home gold in sparring and silver in forms.

Noah Beaton, of Windsor Forks, took home a gold for sparring and bronze for forms.

This was the first competition ever in the Maritimes to include electronic scoring for all belt levels.

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that emphasizes speed, strength and athleticism. Castro’s TKD Academy was founded in 1998 and has provided instruction to hundreds of children, youth and adults from around the Annapolis Valley. The school offers five taekwondo classes per week for athletes of all ages and abilities. To learn more about the school, e-mail info@castrostkd.com.