Montana Oevermann, a local athlete, is catching national attention for her sports prowess.
From June 9 to 11, Oevermann will head to Regina to compete with athletes from across the country. Selectees will display their skills and may be chosen to represent the country at the Taekwon-Do World Championships in Finland from Sept. 4 to 10. Athletes also get to train for the duration of the camp even if they aren’t selected for the team, gaining enhanced skills from high-level coaches.
When Montana and her father/coach Ryan Oevermann found out she qualified for the training camp, they said, “what the flip.”
“It was really cool, except I was kind of confused because I didn’t know that anyone was watching me at the competition,” Montana explained.
While Ryan knew there were scouts at nationals, Montana said her lack of knowledge helped her perform without extra stress.
“If I knew they were watching, I’d just be more stressed, and like, I would just freeze,” she said. “So I just did what I usually do.”
At nationals, she earned a bronze medal in sparring. The 16-year-old has trained since age five and takes classes at Northern Taekwon-Do Academy in Sun Peaks.
When she isn’t practicing Taekwon-Do, Montana said she works out every day at school during her favourite class – gym. In class, they practice intervals (running for two minutes and walking for one). She said cardio helps increase her endurance for sparring.
Regardless of how she does when she gets to camp, Montana sees this as an opportunity.
“It means a lot because taekwondo means a lot to my dad and my family…I’m also doing it for myself because it’s a great opportunity,” the athlete explained.
“If I don’t make the team, I’m going to learn a lot from this and [gain] a lot of skills that I can use in competition. So I’m really looking forward to it.”
If Montana is selected to go to Finland in September, the family will start fundraising to cover the costs of travel – which is expected to be around $10,000 for flights, accommodations and meals.
While Ryan competed for the province, he wasn’t on the national team.
“I’m more excited than nervous. I’m very proud,” Ryan said.
Ryan said Taekwon-Do training helps athletes and young women gain confidence.
“They become confident in themself but not arrogant. I think it allows them – especially young ladies – to get independence and feel more comfortable in their surroundings. For teenage girls, that’s huge.”
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