Serious training with a serious pay off. A team from North Valley Tae Kwon Do has qualified for the Junior Olympics where they'll represent Northern Nevada at next month’s competition in California.
"Training two to four hours a day, six days a week - that's what it took," says their coach, 4th Degree Master David Walker “We've gone to Sacramento, Stanford University, we've been to Fresno, we've been to Salt Lake. They qualified for this event.”
Competitor Daniela Rojas-Corral says this Tae Kwon Do is what she does every day. “Most the kids really, really want this.”
Walker has been coaching Tae Kwon Do for 20 years. He says the benefits of learning martial arts are more than just physical. “Half these kids wouldn't know each other if they weren't here. They hang out on the weekends, support each other at competition.”
Daniela agrees, ”This is like our home, we're here a lot and I think it would mean a lot if someone would come in and try to sponsor us.”
The nine kids who qualified need to raise about $600 each for the week-long competition. “We do fundraisers, different things we do all year-round to help get them there,” says Master David Walker.
15-year-old Jeremiah Harmon is pretty devoted to getting to the Junior Olympics. He won the bronze there two years ago - and now has a score to settle. He says, this year …”Gold, for sure."
But the bottom line is if money isn't raised some kids will be left behind. Says Walker, “You know -it's hard, I wanna see these kids succeed and I'm hoping the community wants that as well."
Several fundraisers are planned over the next few weeks including a car wash at the Lemmon Valley Walgreens on Saturday, June 21st from 10am-3:00pm.
A PayPal account has also been set up or you can contact Coach David Walkers at NVTKD88@gmail.com at 775-224-1141.