Laidley taekwondo club gets plenty of wins under its belt
TAEKWONDO: Catherine Ovenden isn't afraid to admit that she was more than a little scared when she competed at her first ever taekwondo tournament.
Now she is scaring the rest of the competition.
It has been a whirlwind year for the 43-year-old after she won a bronze medal at the ITF World Cup at the end of September and was awarded the overall female champion at the Bai Rui Nationals last weekend.
She hopes to earn her first dan black belt by the end of the year.
Ovenden has been training in taekwondo for four years and first started to get her kids involved in the sport.
While they lost interest, she carried on with the Bai Rui Taekwon-Do Laidley club.
"I just kept progressing and it's really clicked for me," Ovenden said.
"I've always been fit and healthy and strong but now I'm a lot more confident."
Some of those nerves still remain but they help her stay on her toes with the competition constantly evolving.
"I look for points (in competition), it's all about points," she said.
"If they hit me hard, I'll hit them hard back. It's game on."
Club instructor Darren Finch, who also featured at the world cup alongside 1000 other competitors from 32 countries, said it had been a successful few weeks for the group.
The pair were able to gain a new perspective at the world titles in Sydney and 12 club members brought home 14 medals from the Bai Rui Nationals in Brisbane.
"I found (the world cup) extremely intense," Finch said.
"The quality of the competitors... they're world class. They brought their best over.
"I think it made us go up a step, we've seen the quality we've got to get to.
"A big thank-you has to go out to all the people that helped us along the way."
Finch, who has been involved with the club for 12 years, has watched his student come a long way.
"To put it all in perspective, at her first tournament I had to take her around the corner and she had a big cry... now she has taken out overall (female) champion," he said.
He wants that experience and success to be passed down to the club's youngest members.
"My biggest goal from a club perspective is using this success that we've already got and pass it on to the juniors," he said.
"We had a white belt at his first tournament (at nationals), he'd been doing taekwondo for three weeks and got a bronze medal. We want to see more of that."