Six Grande Prairie kickboxers will be competing for Team Alberta at the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations National Championship. Ashleigh Bartelds and Jalen Merrick, who both competed in the national championships in 2022, will once again represent Team Alberta at the competition that kicks off on March 30th.
Bartelds says it takes a lot of time and effort to put into practice to get good results.
“A lot of times there is a lot of work put in. You train like six to seven times a week, and working super hard because you don’t want to sit at the same level; you always want to improve and it all comes to the hard work you put in.”
Meanwhile, Merrick says it has always been his dream to compete around the world, and winning this year’s championship would open that door.
“I looked forward to training every day no matter how hard it is to actually get up and start doing it. It takes a lot of work to get to where we are and it’s all worth it in the end.”
The other athletes that will be representing Grande Prairie at the Canadian national championship are Yasna Martinez, Marcus Hinton, Aiden Getson, and Eva Varley. The coaches accompanying them are head coach Luis Martinez, Amanda Bartelds, and Chad Bartelds.