Stina Genge spars against other white and yellow belts at the recent BC Cup in Kelowna. Graham Genge photo

Terrace father ‘n’ daughter strike a different type of gold at BC Cup

Graham Genge and daughter Stina had a blast and both won medals in their first taekwondo tournament

A FATHER-DAUGHTER pair new to taekwondo struck a different type of gold as they competed in their first tournament in Kelowna recently.

Graham Genge and his seven-year-old daughter Stina Genge joined Atlantis Taekwondo in January, and the two freshman martial artists had a blast together as they sparred their way to silver and bronze in the BC Cup May 6.

It was heartwarming even for fellow Terrace competitor Amanda Annibal, who enjoyed watching the fun golden moments between the father-daughter pair.

“They just had such a good time,” Annibal said, “and it was so cute, you know, like father-daughter combo, and their excitement and good sportsmanship. It was just a really neat thing to see.”

Besides having a blast together, the whitebelt pair also snapped up silver and bronze medals in their sparring divisions, despite this being their first-ever tournament.

Stina competed against 15 to 20 other martial artists, and took silver in the age 6-7 division for white and yellow belts.

“She had a huge group of competitors, so that was quite an accomplishment for her,” said Annibal.

Coach Cody Skog agreed, adding that she’s been a dedicated, focused student from the start. “She is an assertive sparrer, and has good precision,” he said.

Graham, too, kicked through the age 18-35 division with impressive ability, sparring against both white and yellow belts.

“It was really exciting, because he was doing really well against some higher belts,” said Annibal. “No one could believe he’s never done it before.”

She added that Graham landed some solid kicks and was tiring competitors of much higher levels. “He did a big axe kick, like a really high axe kick, and landed it… and he was winding the other competitors, like they were getting tired fighting him… It was awesome,” she said.

With a busy schedule, Graham has participated in only six taekwondo classes at Atlantis since starting in September. He joined the sport as a way to build up his relationship with his daughter.

“It’s nice to have something in common with what your kids are interested in,” he said, adding that he wants to learn and support her.

“We get the opportunity to travel to different tournaments and compete together, it’s pretty fun,” he said, adding that they had a great time at the tournament in Kelowna.

As for the competition, Graham said he was surprised by how well he did.

“I didn’t really know what to expect, but the instincts kicked in. I just took what I had been taught and knew, and just that instinct to compete… I’m really competitive,” he said of what was involved in his sparring.

Competing against yellow belts with much more experience, Graham said he simply gave it his all.

“I did have a lot up against me, so I just tried as hard as I could and was successful… and same with Stina,” he said.

Graham was also learning and taking tips as he went along, even from much younger martial artists.

“There were kids 10-12 years old that were teaching me things while I was there… it was really fun to have a ten-year-old show you what you’re doing wrong and stuff,” he laughed, adding that most of the other Terrace competitors were more advanced than him.

Another standout at the tournament was Atlantis coach Cody Skog, who was coaching and competing in the blackbelt division. He took double gold, winning in both sparring and patterns against the other blackbelts.

Annibal says his fights were riveting to watch.

“I couldn’t keep my eyes off the ring,” she said, adding that blackbelts execute so many different kicks, and Skog is always a very strong competitor.

“His jumping 360 back-kicks are really accurate. He lands them almost every time,” Annibal said of a move that stood out in Skog’s sparring battles.

Annibal said that one time Skog even landed that backwards kick while in the midst of falling out of bounds.

Skog also took gold in patterns, and had to tweak his style to accommodate the club’s requirements.

For Annibal, having a coach still actively training and competing makes a huge difference.

“It’s super inspiring to have a coach that’s [competing] with you,” she said.

A total of nine Terrace martial artists competed in Kelowna.

 

Graham Genge and his daughter Stina both took medals in what was their first taekwondo tourament May 6. Photo contributed

Atlantis Taekwondo coach spars against another blackbelt in the BC Cup where he claimed gold. Graham Genge photo

Stina Genge executes a kick in her patterns competition. Graham Genge photo

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