WELLINGTON: Aaron Potter’s first trip to the Canadian Taekwondo Nationals will be one he won’t soon forget.
Potter was one of six athletes from Inner Strength Taekwondo, based out of Wellington, to bring home medals from the nationals, held recently in Ottawa.
Kasey Cox of Enfield captured gold in the Youth boys 35 kilogram division; Carly Sawler of Fall River earned silver in the Senior Women’s 67 kilogram division; Katie Cox of Enfield won bronze in the Cadet Girls 47 kilogram class; Madison Cyr picked up bronze in the Junior girls 68-plus kilogram division; and Brett Skinner grabbed bronze to go alongside Cox’s gold in the 35 kilogram Youth boys category.
Potter, a Grand Lake native, earned silver, losing by one point on a last second hit where the judges awarded the winning point to give Nathan Lor the gold in the Cadet Boys 33 kilograms.
But there was a lot to be proud of for Potter, who attends Georges P. Vanier Junior High in Fall River.
“I’m very proud of myself because it took a lot of hard work,” said Potter, 12. “As much as I wanted to quit, I didn’t because I really wanted it.”
You see, in his first-ever match at the nationals he lost, sending him to the bottom of the tree match. He had to win every match from that point on or his nationals was over. He did that, right until the final against Lor.
Potter, who has been in Taekwondo for seven years, said the medal means a lot to him.
“I’m going to remember this one because it was very challenging to get it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the other five athletes were also happy with their results, with some also being their first medals, while finding the competition more challenging than their used too.
Sawler has made the jump up to the senior classes from the junior divisions. She’s finding it a tad difficult so far.
“I’m finding it a lot harder fighting in the senior division so I’m really proud of myself for getting the medal,” said the 17-year-old who attends Lockview High. “This medal means more to me.”
She said she’s fighting competitors who are much older and with that comes more experience than she has.
“I’m still young and coming into it,” she said. “It’s a lot different.”
Cox, a very quiet and humbled young man, said he was proud of his performance that landed him the gold. He attends Enfield District School.
“It’s pretty exciting that I’m the national champion for my division,” said Cox, who was also named MVP for all the youth. “I got mad and I usually don’t in one of my matches. I turned that into good use.”
Katie Cox, Kasey’s sister, said it was her first tournament doing head-shots.
“It was good experience for me,” said the Riverside Education Centre student. “I got to see what others did and how they competed. I really liked it.
“I was very happy with my result as there were a lot of people in my division.”
Skinner said it was very exciting for him to get a bronze medal.
“It was my first time at nationals and I was able to bring something home,” said Skinner, an Ash Lee Jefferson School student. “I tried my best. I really enjoyed competing there.
“It was an honour.”
Cyr acknowledge after a few big tournaments she knows it’s a tough task to win.
“I’m very proud of this medal,” said the Cole Harbour resident. “The bronze medal is like gold to me.”