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

Merry Makers create new craft fair for Port Alberni

Hansen Hall fair begins as Work of Heart organizers retire

Port Alberni highland dancers invited to North American competition

Kali Nahorney received honourable mention medals in two categories

Government looks for public input on Cathedral Grove safety concerns

Port Alberni, Parksville info sessions invite public to help ‘shape future access’

ARTS AROUND: Enjoy magic and comedy at the Capitol Theatre

Transport yourself back in time for the McLean Mill Christmas Market

Port Alberni to receive $8.7 million in affordable housing

Two projects in the Alberni Valley will provide 87 units of housing

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Island Corridor Foundation optimistic about restoring rail service

If green-lighted, first priority would be Langford to Victoria route

Most Read