BEAVER BANK: There’s an excitable nervousness around several local Taekwon-Do athletes these days.
Jade Cameron who calls Beaver Bank home; Jean-Luc Melanson, 16, of Beaver Bank; Lower Sackville product Sydnee Pearce, who has been to the worlds before; and Liam Forysthe, a Halifax native who is the world TKD champion in his class, are representing Nova Scotia and Team Canada at the ITF Taekwon-Do World Championship in Dublin, Ireland next month. Evan MacNeil of Halifax is also going. All five are trained by Master David Hiltz at Lower Sackville-based Hiltz Taekwon-Do.
“I think it’s very exciting,” said Cameron, after an August afternoon training session at Hiltz. “I think it’s a nice opportunity and a good experience to be able to go.”
A fundraising auction will be held to help offset costs for the five to go. That is scheduled for Brewsters on the Bedford Highway on Sept. 9. Viewing is at 5 p.m. and the auction at 6 p.m.
Cameron said it means her hard work through the past nine years has paid off. She got into Taekwon-Do so she knew how to defend herself in case she came across trouble.
“I think I will be really nervous before I go up for my match,” she said.
Melanson said it will be an experience he won’t forget.
“It’ll be a higher level of competition that I’ve never experienced before,” he said. “It’s a big accomplishment for me as I’ve been training for 10 years for this opportunity.”
Pearce will be representing Canada for a second time.
“I know it’s going to be great to travel with my teammates and meet other people from around the world,” said Pearce.
She said she has explained to the others that the nervousness is a part of it, but for them to soak it all in and enjoy the moment.
“I keep telling them even though it will be extremely nerve-wrecking to go up there, they’ll live and we’ll be proud of them,” she said, “but it’s a moment they won’t ever forget.”
Forsythe, who has won once before at the worlds, agreed.
“I’m telling them to really appreciate where you are,” he said. “I know I was so hyped the first time I competed, I got in the ring and then it was over.
“You have to appreciate your among the best.”