A Lake Cowichan kid recently won a bronze medal at the BC Winter Games.
Jacob Marcelic, 12, trains with the Fernando Correia School of Karate and brought home the bronze from the Games held Feb. 21-23 in Mission.
“[Jacob] was in the boys +55kg Kumite/sparring event and received the bronze medal. He had some tough competition as most of the other boys were almost 14 while Jacob just recently turned 12 so I would say he did very well,” said Loretta M. Schwab from the Fernando Correia School of Karate in an email to the Gazette. “The BC Games is for 12-to 13-year-olds and this is the starting point for them to be able to join the Karate BC Team and move toward attending the Canadian Nationals.”
The karate events for the Games were held at the recreation centre in nearby Pitt Meadows with 92 competitors from all over the province registering for karate competition.
“Jacob worked hard to qualify to go the games and never missed one of the gruelling training (sessions) and (he) should be proud of (his) achievement,” said Schwab who said the event was a tiring but exciting one. “The kids arrived on the Thursday, and were all training for the big event days all day Friday. It was an exhausting and nerve wracking few days for all of them but whether they earned a medal or not they all said that it was the best experience they ever had.”
Marcelic believes the Games was an experience of a lifetime.
“I had such a great time at the BC Winter Games,” he said in an email. “I made so many new friends from all over the province and I can’t wait to see them all again at upcoming tournaments. The competition was tough, I ended up losing to the gold medal winner. I was blown away by how talented some of the other competitors were, it was awesome to be around so many others who love karate as much as I do.
“I want to thank Sensei Fernando Correia and Sensei Loretta Schwab for the many many hours of training and support they have given me over the years. I would also like to thank Geoffery and Jean Newell for all the help they gave me preparing for the Winter Games, they have been excellent role models for me,” said Marcelic.
Mom Tiffany was equally proud.
“We are so proud of Jacob for all the hard work and dedication he has put in to his karate,” she said. “Seeing him walk into Mission Raceway during the athlete’s parade at the opening ceremonies was definitely one of our happiest moments as parents thus far. Now that Jacob has seen just how good his competition can be he is more determined than ever to keep improving. We are so happy for him and will continue to support whatever his dreams may be.”
Elsewhere at the Games, in hockey play, Lake Cowichan’s Katie Ferguson was part of the Vancouver Island team that finished fourth, just missing out on a shot at gold.
“The BC Games weekend was spectacular,” said mom Debbie in an email to the Gazette. “Katie had so much fun and played some incredible hockey. They had a shootout with the team that won gold and if we had won the shootout she would have been playing for gold, so that was disappointing. The girls ended up coming in fourth place out of eight teams, so they still did really well. It was a great experience for Katie and has inspired her to keep striving for her dreams. Katie made new friends and memories that will last a lifetime.”