Left to right: Keira Longtin, Velyien Thomson, Jayce Vergette.

A local karate team was thrilled to qualify for the World Karate Commission World Championships in Orlando, Florida late last month, under the teaching of Sensei Earl Horvath. The Kemptville site of Douvris Martial Arts – a school specializing in karate, fitness, and leadership – had three students qualify to represent Canada in the championships which were held from October 21 – 27.

“Competitors are split by age and weight, Sensei Earl explained. “There is also an all weights division for each age group.” He stated that Keira Longtin won bronze in girls sparring in the 11-12 age group, Velyien Thomson won Bronze in girls open weight sparring and gold in girls team fighting in the 15-17 age group, and Jayce Vergette won gold in boys 70 kg sparring and bronze in boys team fighting in the 15-17 age group. “Since the World Championships, Jayce has turned 18 and fought in his first tournament in the men’s division and won,” added Sensei Earl.

It was Keira’s first time at the World Championships, and Sensei Earl is sure she will only get better from here. Both Jayce and Velyien, meanwhile, have qualified for the event many times, and are seeing the benefits of years of training. “At the same tournament, Velyien continued her winning ways placing first in her weight class and first in all weights,” said the Sensei. “COVID set back tournaments and competitors a few years, but the events we attend have come back strong in 2023 with record numbers of participants.”

The Douvris Kemptville tournament team is working hard to make it to next year’s World Championships. “I expect more of our students to qualify, first by placing in the top eight at the provincial championships in April, and then by placing in the top four at the WKC Canadian championships in May,” said Sensei Earl. “Everybody wants to go to the 2024 WKC World Championships in Albufeira Portugal next fall.”


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