Beechboro martial artists off to Ocean Championships in Fiji

Olivia Roberts (14) and Nicholas Bontempo (15). Picture: Charles Rawlins
Olivia Roberts (14) and Nicholas Bontempo (15). Picture: Charles Rawlins

TWO young taekwondo stars based in Beechboro martial arts centre will represent Australia at the Oceania Championships held in Fiji.

Two-time world championship athlete Olivia Roberts (14) and promising junior Nicholas Bontempo (15) both qualified for the championships after a good showing at the World Taekwondo Federation President’s Cup last month.

Olivia and Nicholas have been training at Rawlins Martial Arts and Taekwondo’s main branch in Beechboro for about 10 years.

Chief instructor Charles Rawlins said the former won the cadet division and the latter qualified via the junior division.

“They have had a week off after the competition, so they will get back into training in preparation for that,” he said.

Rawlins said Olivia achieved a lot of success at international level despite her age.

“As a cadet fighter, she is one of the more successful cadet fighters in Australia because no one has qualified for two cadet championships,” he said.

Rawlins said balancing school and five days of training was difficult for the duo.

“It is very hard for them and I have got to give them full credit for managing studies, friends and taekwondo,” he said.

“A lot of those friends are taekwondo friends because they do not have time.”

He said his students hoped to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

“A lot of my juniors carried onto senior level and have been very successful at senior level,” he said.

“They got to keep on training, focus all the way and as long as they are dedicated, they should get there.”

Olivia and Nicholas are set to compete at the national championships in Bendigo and the Malaysian championships prior to the Oceania Championships in November.