Blaketown teen takes Bronze at national Tae kwon do competition
Renee Osbourne of Blaketown is among the top three junior Tae kwon do medallists in Canada.
The 14-year-old earned a Bronze medal at the Canada Junior (black belts under 15-years) Tae Kwon do competition in Quebec City, May 16 to 18.
“She gave an impressive performance,” said Master Anthony Byrne, coach and trainer of the Trinity Placentia Tae kwon do Club. “I’m so proud of her.”
Renee hurdled her first opponent and then tied the competitor from Ontario 2 - 2. The match went into overtime and at the end of the three two-minute rounds the girls had tied once again, so it was up to the judges to decide the outcome. In the end Ontario took the Silver medal, while Renee received the Bronze.
“Ontario was a major competitor, they had over 300 fighters participating in the competition as opposed to Newfoundland and Labrador which had just a handful,” said Byrne. “They showed more initiative in cheering, there was quite a crowd from Ontario in the background clapping and making a lot of noise and I believe it influenced the judges, I really do. Renee fought really well and I was pretty sure she had the Silver. In fact when she came off the mat and we were waiting for the decision to be announced I told her I thought she had it.
“Of course I know I’m a bit bias,” Byrne chuckles. “But how can I not be? She was the better fighter. But getting the Bronze medal is also a great accomplishment. I’m extremely proud of her.”
Renee is also pleased with her third place win.
“I wasn’t disappointed at all,” she said. “This was my first time competing at the national level, so I felt pretty good winning the bronze. That national podium was the best stage I was ever on and it felt so good to have the Bronze medal placed around my neck. I really trained hard and all that effort paid off.”
Her training included practices every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday night with Master Byrne as well as waking up early on Saturday mornings and driving from Blaketown to St. John’s for another high performance Tae kwon do practice. The 18-week Tae kwon do elite program, taught by Master Jens Hosel, helped prepare Renee for the national competition.
“It was a very intense program, but it helped me develop my sparring,” she said. “I also had a training program to do at home every day as well.”
Byrne, who has been coaching Renee for the past six years, says his student is far more competitive on the mat than she is off.
“She is the sweetest, most meek and mild teenager that you could ever meet,” he says. “She puts her all into the sport and into fighting while on the mat, but she would never be the one to fight or start a fight off it.”
Although small in numbers, Renee had her own cheerleading squad at the nationals - her mom Norma and her dad Bill.
“They attend all my competitions,” said Renee. “They spend a lot of time driving me around and supporting me during the competitions. I really appreciate that.”
The Bronze medal is just one of many awards Renee has racked up over the past few years.
The Grade 8 student at Crescent Collegiate is also an accomplished figure skater with the Trinity Placentia Figure Skating Club and plays volleyball and soccer.
Renee, who has her First Degree Black Belt, is currently working towards her Second Degree Black Belt. She also hopes to compete in the Canadian National Tae kwon do championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia in November.
Master Byrne thinks she will have no trouble competing.
“Renee is an extremely disciplined, dedicated athlete and her dedication to the training proves she can compete with the top athletes in the country,” said Byrne. “She’s the type that will crawl out of bed when sick to make it to a practice. She doesn’t miss a practice, it would take some snowstorm to keep her away.”