Congratulations to West Coast Gojukai for another successful Skills Challenge Competition on March 1, 2014 at Como Lake Middle School. The Skills Challenge was designed by Donna Gardecki to reflect the training and competitive needs of the young athletes as defined by our new Long Term Participant (Athlete) Development model (LTPD). Fifty six athletes under the age of 14, Novice and Intermediate, came out to enjoy themselves for 4.5 hrs doing a variety of activities and logging points for participation. There were 6 different dojo represented with instructors from those dojo coming to help with being Ring Captains, Officials, and volunteers in other capacities. The two largest groups of volunteers came from West Coast Gojukai dojo and Shima Karate School.

The morning started with “Oh Canada” sung beautifully by Nick Cardoni (without music), singer from the band Legal Limit. 
 Shortly after that athletes began competing in their separate rings – approximately 30 minutes was given for each ring to get through all competitors in that division. The Skills Challenge is organized into 7 different rings: 1. Kumite/Tag Kumite; 2. Tag Kumite and Paddle Kumite; 3. Obstacle and skills course; 4.Education station; 5. Kata/Kihon Ido; 6: Kata/Kihon Ido; 7. Fitness Challenge. The boys and girls competed with one another in the same age category up to 10-11 years old. The 12/13 year olds’ scores were separated between girls and boys. Kids received 8 points for a loss and 15 points for a win. They were able to do AT LEAST 4 rounds of kata, up to 8 rounds of kumite style competition, up to 2 rounds of the skills course and were maximally challenged for vertical jump, standing broad jump and pushups. Awards were given for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in each division. 
 The judges and ring captains also picked 3 participants who, overall, exemplified the qualities in each of these categories: Best Decorum, Best Sportsmanship, Best Effort.

A great big thank you to Shima Karate School for bringing a lot of ‘over 13’ brown and black belts to help with coaching and officiating. Due to that, most of the kids were able to get some coaching at ring side between matches and between each of their kata. Coaching comments were written on their comment cards for them to take home. Thank you to West Coast Gojukai students and parents for their selfless gift of time for the organization and running of this LTAD (LTPD) style event. Thank you to Karate BC Medical Director Chris Browett for running the education ring. We are all looking forward to doing it again next year!