Olivier Thorlakson, Dylan Annis, Dan Ashe, Bea Blocksom and Wolf Weixelbaum from the Fernie Karate Cub. Photo Submitted

Fernie’s karate kids headed to BC Winter Games

Fernie will send karate athletes to the Winter Games for the first time in 20 years

For the first time in 20 years, karate in Fernie will be represented at the BC Winter Games, to be held in Fort St John from February 20-23, 2020. Fernie Karate Club’s small but mighty Games contingent consists of athletes Dylan Annis and Bea Blocksom, both aged 13, and each competing in at least one of karate’s two divisions: kata (pre-set forms) and kumite (free sparring). They will be supported by assistant coach Dan Ashe, himself an active practitioner, and coach and Kootenay zone rep Wynne Cairns, a third degree black belt in traditional Shotokan karate (and also Bea’s mom).

“We’re just getting started,” noted Cairns. “This is only our second year of training here in Fernie, so it’s really exciting that the kids have this opportunity to participate in an event like the BC Games. It’s been informally dubbed ‘BC’s kids’ Olympics’, and for us the focus is really on challenging ourselves, having fun, and supporting each other. Dylan and Bea will be competing in the intermediate category, so they’ll be with other athletes who have similar levels of tournament experience – they each medalled in a tournament in Calgary in the fall against very experienced competitors, so I’m excited to watch them give it all they’ve got in Fort St. John!”

After moving to Fernie in 2017, Cairns was surprised to learn that there was no karate club here. “In terms of martial arts in a small town, Fernie is very lucky to have several well established clubs, including judo and Tae Kwon Do. I’m a firm believer in ‘the more the merrier’, and that everyone should have the opportunity to find the thing that moves them (literally!), so when I couldn’t find a karate club here, I decided to start one! Since then I’ve learned that there are so many folks in the valley with karate experience – my hope is to use this opportunity with the Games to help bolster karate participation throughout the Kootenay.”

Getting established takes time, however. “It’s great that there are so many rec clubs in Fernie; we’re all out here jostling for limited, affordable recreation space and times that are appropriate for all ages and the karate club has already benefitted so much from the support of the community, including the Fernie Legion (which provides training space and contributed funds in support of the BC Games athletes) and the Fernie Community Fund (which has also provided support for coach training and protective equipment for the team). We’re so grateful, and I can’t wait to watch these kids shine.”

For more information on the BC Games, visit https://www.bcgames.org. To learn about the Fernie Karate Club, check out https://www.ferniekarate.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Community Cash Awards make their return to the Elk Valley

The program supports the development of healthy and diverse communities

Updates from Sparwood’s most recent council meeting

Bylaw changes and policing priorities were among the topics discussed at council’s last meeting

Elk River Alliance seeks volunteers

There are many different ways to get involved with the ERA as a volunteer

Kootenay Community Bat Projects seeks public help in tracking bats

Kootenay area bats are at risk of contracting white nose syndrome

Search and Rescue responds to ill prepared sledder

A sledder was stuck behind the microwave towers on Friday afternoon

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

Police narrow down timeline in death of woman in West Kootenay

West Kootenay Traffic Services and BC Coroners Service working on the case

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Most Read