A Shuswap karate instructor received international recognition for her coaching and dedication to the sport.
Holly Raczynski brought 42 Canadian martial artists to Las Vegas to compete in Stan Witz’s USA World Championships Karate tournament on June 28-30. Nine of competitors were from clubs in the Shuswap.
During the awards ceremony where the Canadian team brought home 18 top-three awards, Raczynski was inducted into the International Martial Arts Council’s (IMAC) hall of fame. The organization also named her the international coach of the year.
Not one to focus on her own achievements, Raczynski was impressed with the Canadian team’s sportsmanship.
“As an entire unit, the team supported each other, showed respect for other clubs, presented themselves well and helped out around the competition,” Raczynski said. “Everybody really stepped up as a team and stood out huge; throughout the event we heard nothing but good things from other teams.”
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I was awarded International Coach of the Year but if it wasn’t for Sensei Gary & Todd this would never have been possible. These two have lead the way for me to countless international competitions throughout my career and now I do the same for our team. Thank you Stan Witz and the International Martial Arts Council for recognizing me for this award #coachoftheyear #internationalmartialarts @pmakarate #lasvegas #worldchampionships #karate #tkd #kickboxing #sensei #leadtheway #buildingastrongteam
The Canadian team’s help throughout the tournament earned them the award for top country, an award which took into account tournament spirit and volunteerism.
“Our team really pulled it together and made it what it was. Not just for our country but for all the other countries attending,” Raczynski said.
The competitors from Shuswap clubs found themselves on the podium many times throughout the event.
Danette Rampton won gold for both Japanese forms and American open forms. Houston Rampton won silver for both point sparring and continuous sparring. Katherine Watson received gold medals for point sparring and continuous sparring.
Victoria Watson received bronze for Japanese forms. Carter Spink received silver for continuous sparring, point sparring and Japanese forms, and bronze for American open forms. Rieley Kalke was awarded silver for continuous sparring as did Jorja Mitchell who also received bronze for point sparring.