Amherst in regional taekwon-do spotlight

Darrell Cole
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Stadium hosting eastern Canadian championships on June 7

Amherst is hosting the best taekwon-do athletes in eastern Canada on June 7.

Amherst is hosting the 2014 CTFI Eastern Canadian TaeKwon-Do Championships on June 7 and the Town of Amherst is on board as a sponsor. Joining Jim Ripley of JC’s TaeKwon-Do in welcoming the event to Amherst are town councilors (from left) George Baker and Terry Rhinrdress, Deputy Mayor Lisa Emery, Mayor Robert Small and town councilor Dave March.

AMHERST – Amherst will be in the regional taekwon-do spotlight early next month when the Amherst Stadium and JC’s TaeKwon-do host the 2014 Eastern Canadian championships.

The June 7 event will feature as many as 300 competitors from Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia vying to be an eastern Canadian champion – something Jim Ripley of JC’s TaeKwon-do has done eight times.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Amherst and a great way to help grow the sport locally and across the region,” Ripley said. “There will be students from age five and up looking to earn the title of eastern Canadian champion in all coloured belts categories in both patterns and sparring.”

Members of Ripley’s club have gone on to big things in regional, national and even world competitions, including Ashley Blenkhorn who competed in Spain last year.

“Approximately half of the 2013 Team Canada, who competed at the 2013 world championships in Benidorn, Spain last October will be present and competing here for a spot on the 2015 Team Canada,” Ripley said.

In the black belt divisions, Ripley said students will be looking to earn seeding points, hoping to be in the top three in each of their categories going into the Canadian championships later this year.

Ripley said those competitors want to go to Italy with Team Canada next year. They will be competing in individual patterns and sparring as well as in team sparring and team patterns.

He expects many of the competitors will begin arriving in Amherst on June 5 and 6 to get rested and to prepare for the event and including family members and friends, he expects between 600 and 700 visitors to the community for this one event.

Ripley said the events are open to the public.

“If you have any interest in the martial arts or always wondered what it is we do at JC’s TaeKwon-Do, come out and see for yourself,” Ripley said, adding doors open on June 7 at 7:30 a.m. and admission is only $5 per person.

Ripley was also highly appreciative of the support he has received from the Town of Amherst and he believes this event could be a stepping stone for other larger taekwon-do events in future.

“The town has really bought in to what we’re trying to accomplish as a club and when we approached them about helping us out with this they were very quick to come on board,” Ripley said. “We really appreciate the support and hope it leads to bigger and better things down the road with some other larger events.”

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Team Canada

Geographic location: Amherst Stadium, Spain, Ontario Quebec Newfoundland and Labrador Nova Scotia Benidorn Italy

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