Teya Doughty

Taekwondo athlete goes for gold

Tea Doughty, 17, has qualified for the national championships for taekwondo happening in May.

Teya Doughty is one step closer to ending her final year of high school with one of her greatest accomplishments of her sports career.

The 17-year-old martial artist qualified for the national championships for taekwondo and will be vying for a position on the podium in May.

When she first started the sport in Grade 5, Doughty was inspired by kung fu movies.

“Jackie Chan was my favourite actor,” she said. “That started the whole thing.”

This year, Doughty is concentrating all of her energy on sparring, and has come a long way from her early days.

“When I first saw a video of people sparring, I was terrified,” Doughty said. “Then after a few years I tried it and loved it.”

She started at Dragon Martial Arts with the goal of acquiring her belts. Then her interests turned to competing and she switched to Port Alberni Taekwondo, where she was able to train for higher levels and tournaments.

Doughty took part in her first competition five years ago and was hooked. For the past three years, she has been to the provincial championships and won both gold and silver medals. Last year, she achieved her coveted black belt and has amped up her training for the final year before graduating from Alberni District Secondary School.

She travels to a Parksville to train three days a week after school and still makes it to rugby practice in-between. She usually goes to school early to do homework, or stays in at lunchtime. On top of that, she works part-time.

Although she is one of the oldest students at the school in Parksville, she said she looks to some of the younger athletes as mentors.

“I have a friend who is 12 years old who is getting a black belt soon,” she said. “Same with a 14-year old friend. They are amazing at sparring.”

The fights in sparring mainly involve kicking and Doughty said her height is an advantage.

“The leg reach is important because I can reach farther,” she said. “But the disadvantage is that I can’t kick if they’re too close.”

The financial cost to reach her goal quickly add up. Apart from travelling to Parksville, Doughty regularly trains in Vancouver.

“I went to Vancouver in December and trained with a two-time Olympic medalist, an Olympic hopeful and a Canadian Olympic coach, master Lim,” Doughty said. “He’s a really good motivational speaker.”

In April, Doughty will be training every weekend in Vancouver for BC team training to prepare for the nationals, held this year in Calgary on May 14.

“I’ll be training one and a half hours on Saturdays and Sundays to get to a level to compete,” she said.

While her parents, Mike and Rhonda Doughty have been helping collect bottles to cover some costs, Doughty has also set up a GoFundMe page.

“She had a choice at the beginning of the year to do recreational or go all out,” Rhonda said. “It is a big commitment on top of a heavy academic load.”

After winning gold in the provincials the weekend of March 12 as the youngest of her division, consisting of 17 to 29 year-olds, Doughty feels confident about her next challenge.

“I’m hoping to get a medal,” she said.

If she does, it will go well with the bronze medal that she received from a tournament on March 19.

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

twitter.com/alberninews

Just Posted

Rain and high winds to hit Vancouver Island this afternoon

Thursday and Friday to see downpour of 20 to 50mm and high winds on Vancouver Island

Learn the basics of publishing at Port Alberni workshop

George Opacic of Rutherford Press will present keys to the professional side of publishing

Septic truck rolls over without a spill west of Port Alberni

Single vehicle crash took place on Klekhoot Crescent

Vancouver Island partners sign hull design contract for floating LNG project

Steelhead LNG and partner Huu-ay-aht First Nations say the agreement was signed in Barcelona

RAISE A READER 2018: Port Alberni popup book event a success

First Book Canada brought 16,000 books for distribution in B.C.-wide event

Sproat Lake hosts fall dragon boat regatta

Port Alberni’s Sproat Ness Dragons earn third place

‘Like an Alfred Hitchcock movie’: Birds fall dead from the sky in B.C. city

Raptor expert says he’s never seen it happen anywhere in the Lower Mainland

Canada signs global pact to help rid world’s oceans of abandoned fishing gear

The federal Fisheries Minister says it’s a ‘critical issue’

GOP pushing forward for Kavanaugh, accuser wants ‘fairness’

Kavanaugh has denied al allegations of sexual misconduct

Tent city campers now allowed to stay in B.C. provincial park

Contrary to earlier reports, Ministry of Environment says there is no deadline for campers to leave Greater Victoria camp site

Former VP of lululemon joins B.C. cannabis cultivation facility

Kerry Biggs will be the Chief Financial Officer of True Leaf, in Lumby

Could cannabis help keep people in B.C. on treatment for opioid addiction?

People on opioid agonist treatment face lower risks of overdosing, BC Centre on Substance Use says

Around the BCHL – Trail Smoke Eater grad to captain NCAA Michigan Tech Huskies

Around the BCHL is a regular look at the BCHL and goings-on throughout the junior A world.

Thieves escape after man claims his wife is giving birth

RCMP searching for suspects in brazen daytime break in

Most Read