Maddox Fields, 13, has never traveled outside of Canada in his life. That is about to change at the end of August, when he boards a plane with the Canadian Junior Karate Team to compete in Buenos Aires, Argentina for the Panamerican Karate Federation Junior, Cadet & U21 Championships.
“It was a very big surprise,” Maddox told the Sydenham Current.
“I am excited, but I am nervous as well because that’s a pretty big competition level. I am currently a green belt and that is about half way to black.”
Maddox’s parents, Jessica Berilli and Jason Fields, are both from Wallaceburg. Maddox lived in Sarnia up until the age of nine, and currently lives in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.
Jessica said Maddox has been involved in karate for four years, since the age of 10.
“He has been training at his Dojo and then he has been travelling for the last year and half, and he really started to take off,” Maddox’s mom told the Sydenham Current.
“We take him to the city, which is Halifax, and we take him every single week, we drive an hour and a half there and an hour and a half home. He trains at the Halifax Dojo where he takes kumite classes, which is basically sparing/fighting. So that is where he learned all of his skills under his coaches there.”
Jessica said her son had only been competing for a year, when he made the provincial team in January, which led him to the National Championships, in Quebec City.
In order to make the National Team, an athlete needs to medal at the National Championships.
Despite coming up short, Maddox was still invited by his coaches to go to the Junior National Training Camp, which was held in Toronto in June.
“He works really, really hard and has grown huge,” she said.
“Leaps and bounds over the year.”
Jessica said while he was at the camp, Karate Canada told a few of the athletes in his division that they were assessing them for a spot on the team.
“Then they announced that Maddox was one of the ones chosen for a spot on the Canadian Team… so it took us totally by surprise,” she said.
Maddox will be travelling with the team from August 20 to August 27.
Competitors from all over the world will be taking part.
Follow along with the event, here.
– Photo credit: BC Sport Karate Snaps