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Local Taekwondo Students Win Big at the Victory Cup Championship in Winnipeg

Four students from Thompson, Manitoba traveled to Winnipeg to compete in the third annual Victory Cup Taekwondo Championship on March 16th, 2024.

Four students from Thompson, Manitoba traveled to Winnipeg to compete in the third annual Victory Cup Taekwondo Championship on March 16th, 2024. The students, who range in age from 6 to adult, competed in various categories and brought home an impressive total of 6 gold and 2 silver medals.


The SIKAD Taekwondo team, led by founder and instructor Mitch Nicolas, has been training together for several years at their stationed dojo on 20 Hayes Rd in Thompson. With a focus on self-defense training and physical and mental wellness, Nicolas has grown her dojo to a group of 20 students, teaching kids as young as 4 years old.


Nicolas, a 3-time black belt champion, started her own dojo in 2019 after transitioning from a fitness instructor to self-defense training. Speaking about her love for Taekwondo, Nicolas stated, “I started loving Taekwondo when I moved to Thompson with my partner in 2009, and at first I thought it was not for me, but when I did a class I found I enjoyed it. It’s good not just physically, but it helps me mentally. It helps me remove stress in my life.”


One of Nicolas’ main focuses is on her Impact Women’s Class, where she teaches women how to protect themselves if ever confronted with unexpected rape or abuse.


Sean Umacam, a higher belt student who took home 2 gold and 1 silver medal, spoke about the impact Nicolas has had on him and his fellow students. “I’ve been training with Mitch for a few years now and I can honestly say that she has helped me grow not only as a Taekwondo athlete but as a person. Her emphasis on self-defense and empowering the weak has been inspiring, and I’m grateful to have her as my instructor.”


The student winners at the Victory Cup Championship were equally grateful for Nicolas’ guidance and support. Six-year-old Ryder Stevens, a yellow belt who competed in two categories, took home 2 gold medals for Poomsae and board breaking.


Another young winner was blue stripe Peyton Holmes, who took home a gold medal on her first Taekwondo competition. Speaking about her win, Holmes stated, “I was so nervous going into the competition, but Mitch and my fellow students helped me feel confident and prepared. Winning a gold medal on my first competition was a dream come true.”


And even one of SIKAD Taekwondo’s newest recruit; White belt Zander Linklater, also competed in Poomsae and placed 1st and 2nd in sparring.


Looking ahead, Nicolas is focused on preparing her students for the next championship, which is scheduled for June. She expressed gratitude to the Taekwondo parents and grandparents who drove all the way to Winnipeg to show their love and support for the team, stating, “We couldn’t have done it without their support.”


The SIKAD Taekwondo team’s success at the Victory Cup Championship serves as a reminder that small towns can produce big champions. With dedicated instructors like Mitch Nicolas and passionate students like those on her team, the future of Taekwondo in Thompson looks bright.


~Matthias J. Johnson is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Thompson Citizen.  The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

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