SWAN View pocket rocket Shante Regnault has an Olympic-sized dream and with her first national title under her belt, she is on her way to competing for her country.
In recent achievements the nine-year-old won gold in her division, sparring at the Australian National Taekwondo Championships in Victoria.
She also scooped a silver medal in the defence and attack pattern called poomsae.
Her mother Susan said Shante’s interest in martial arts began at a young age.
“I went to ninja training for a few years and Shante liked to dress up in my sparring gear, which was quite funny at the time because she was so little,” Mrs Regnault said.
When Shante was aged six, she went to a trial class with ATI Martial Arts in Malaga and came away wanting to punch above her weight with older children.
World champion trainers at the centre allowed her to join the year above her age group, providing she could keep up with the class.
Shante’s competitive nature kicked in and last year she won a silver award in her first national competition at the age of eight.
To compete in the nationals, she had to learn world-class taekwondo in addition to the international style also taught at ATI.
“She is pretty focused and competitive,” Mrs Regnault said.
Shante has so far shown the commitment of a professional athlete, training every day, with her schedule recently extended to pre-elite coaching with the Australian Institute of Sport and a kickboxing class.
Mrs Regnault said Shante’s training schedule seemed “gruelling for her age”, but her passion and focus was that of a much older child.
She moved her daughter to West Balcatta Primary School to reduce the travel time to training sessions.
Earlier in the year, Shante’s family was successful in applying to the Shire of Mundaring’s Youth Sponsorship Program.
The sponsorship assists local young people selected to attend state, national or international events in representing their clubs.
Mrs Regnault said the sponsorship contributed towards travel expenses to compete in the national championships.
“The sponsorship also acknowledges all the hard work and training she puts into her sport,” she said.
Shire President David Lavell said the Shire awarded 21 youth sponsorships.
“The fact Shante has competed at a national level is an outstanding achievement for anyone, but particularly for someone her age,” he said.
Shante and her family were invited to attend a council dinner this week where she was able to show her many medals and trophies to Mundaring councillors.