Please tell us a little bit about yourself.


My name is Reghan. I am 14 years old and love karate. I am in 9th grade at Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute. I was introduced to karate when I was 5 years old, by my neighbour and immediately fell in love with it! At first I was super shy and hated being called on during class but karate has definitely improved my self-esteem as well as my confidence. 


I train at Desantos Premier Martial Arts and love it there. The first years of doing karate, I was just doing it for fun. I didn’t really have an end goal or something I was working towards. After I got my brown belt, I realized that black belt was what I really wanted and it became the ultimate goal. I received my 1st-degree black belt a few weeks after I turned 12. After blackbelt, I wanted to start doing karate competitively. I entered my first tournament in May of 2019 and I lost pretty badly. All the other girls in my division had a lot of experience and were better. I finished last in one division and 3rd in my second division. I was pretty upset and disappointed with myself but that only made me want to work harder. I trained harder and attended my second tournament where I placed 1st in both divisions. I train about 9-14 hours weekly on my own and at the dojang every day except Sundays. My goal was to compete in the WAKO Junior World Championships.


Then COVID-19 hit and everything shut down. I was devastated. I had lost my motivation to keep up with my training. I hated the online classes and my house wasn’t big enough to practice all of my tricks. I had to rethink what my goals were. My 2nd degree blackbelt and qualifying for the WAKO Junior World Championships is what I really want. So I train super hard now learning many new weapon tricks as well as my aerials and back handsprings.


Karate has made me so much more confident with myself. I have learned lots of things physically but also mentally. I’ve learned how to have a good mindset as well as being mentally tough. I also learned lots about giving back. People have really inspired and helped me get to where I am and I look forward to being able to do that for others. I like to volunteer as well as donate money to charities such as the Desantos foundation. 


What inspired you to participate in Sport?


I am a very active person and I love to try new things. When I was younger I didn’t really have any inspiration but now that I am older, I aspire to be as good as Mackensi Emory. Mackensi Emory is a World Champion and she is a pro tricker. I also aspire to be a leader one day to spread my knowledge of karate to others.

What qualities of a leader do you appreciate most? Why?


A good leader is someone who is motivating and supportive.  Motivation is something a lot of people struggle with. It’s hard getting started but to keep going is even harder. When you have someone motivating you it’s easier to keep going. I am training to be a leader as well as an instructor one day. 


What advice do you have for parents, coaches or sport administrators to encourage or improve sport for females?


Always motivate and praise your athletes. Everyone looks up to their coaches. When you praise your athletes for an accomplishment it makes them feel special because they desire to be just like you. I personally love when my coach praises me because it makes my self esteem go up.


What is a quote that motivates you?


I love quotes! I have a calendar that gives me a quote of the day, I hang quotes on my walls and have them as my home screens on my phone. Quotes are inspiring and every single quote written comes from the heart. My favourite quote would have to be “Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon” -Paul Brandt. That quote basically means that nothing is out of reach. Whatever you put your mind to you’ll succeed. You just have to work hard and have a positive attitude. 


Instagram: @reghan.kicks