Bronze and silver won in first national tourney
Not a bad effort for someone who is just eight years old and has only been practicing martial arts for two years.
Hoover Reoyo was part of a larger contingent of Calgary martial artists who travelled to Montreal for the nationals tournament. He was one of 23 local Calgarians who earned 21 medals at the competition, including six gold. In addition to the trips to the podium, 15 of the participants qualified to represent Team Canada.
“I’m very proud of him,” father Andy Hoover said of his son’s performance.
“He did way better than I thought he would, he really picked it up,” he said.
Hoover travelled out to Montreal and was able to see firsthand how skilled his son had really become.
“There were a couple of times he had fallen behind in a match, was kinda hurt, but he pushed through and did really well.”
Maeghen Cotterill, one of Hoover Reoyo’s coaches, said that his confidence has grown since beginning his training two years ago, and that he has really taken to martial arts, training 16 hours a week.
Montreal was big for Hoover Reoyo.
Photo: Trevor Presiloski
“Sometimes here, at the dojo, he would struggle when sparring against kids his age,” said Cotterill. “But when he was out in Montreal, he really stepped it up and did incredibly well.”
Although Hoover enjoys seeing his son compete, he said that his training in martial arts has paid off in other areas as well.
“When he gets home, the first thing he does is his homework so that in the evening he can do karate,” Hoover said.
It’s also helped with his confidence.
Initially, Hoover Reoyo got into martial arts due to what his father said was a “boys will be boys” roughhousing incident. Hoover Reoyo found a positive environment where he’s made friends and has cultivated other skills.