Bernadette Alvarez of Shima Karate will represent her dojo and her country at the world championships in Mumbai

Bernadette Alvarez of Shima Karate will represent her dojo and her country at the world championships in Mumbai

Shima student to spar with world’s best

The 17-year-old from Nanaimo will be competing in the International Karatedo Gojukai Association world championships from Dec. 10-16.

The world championships are in Mumbai, India, half a world away, but as long as Nanaimo’s Bernadette Alvarez is on the karate mats, she’ll feel right at home.

“It’s not that different,” she said. “It’s a bunch of people doing karate, having fun, hopefully.”

The 17-year-old from Shima Karate will be competing in the International Karatedo Gojukai Association world championships from Dec. 10-16.

It’s a big deal, said her sensei Kurt Nordli, who will be accompanying her on the trip. Worlds are every four years and he’s never tried to qualify one of his Shima athletes until now.

“From what I’ve heard, as far as Canada’s team goes, they have high hopes on Bernadette…” he said. “They’re really hopeful she’s going to place and place well.”

Alvarez competed at nationals in Toronto in March, winning a silver medal in forms and a bronze in sparring. She never lets up with her training, coming into the Shima school five times a week.

“Her body type is perfect for karate,” Nordli said. “She has fast-twitch muscles, very good reflexes, so that helps.”

Alvarez said she’s been thinking about world championships since she was 12, so it’s exciting that it’s now becoming a reality. She doesn’t really know what the calibre of competition will be like, but she expects to be able to adapt.

She will try to strike a balance of enjoying the experience, yet maintaining her focus. To do well, she’ll need to “[get] a good night’s sleep, eat chocolate, be happy, not stressed,” she said. “Ride an elephant, preferably before the tournament; that would be cool.”

Though Alvarez is going to worlds to compete as an individual, it will take a team effort to get her there. Her peers are helping her fundraise for her trip and she said it’s reinforced how Shima isn’t just a dojo, but a family. It will inspire her to represent them as best she can.

“I don’t want to go over there and end up not doing my best…” she said. All these people supported me even though they didn’t have to. I might be their friend, but quite honestly they didn’t have to help me. But they still did, and I don’t want to go there for nothing.”

Just Posted

The Nanaimo Business Awards are accepting nominations now. (Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce image)
Nanaimo Business Awards accepting nominations of worthy winners

This year’s awards aren’t until the fall, but the nomination period ends June 28

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Gabriola singer-songwriter Sarah Osborne, Cowichan Valley duo Heartwood, Vancouver singer Kelly Haigh and Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo (clockwise from top-left) are among the performers in this year’s Cultivate Festival. (Photos submitted)
Gabriola Arts Council presents COVID-conscious Cultivate Festival

Theatre, music and art festival returns to Gabriola Island after 2020 hiatus

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

John A. Read, who was inspired to leave his former career to become a professional astronomer by the purchase of a $13 telescope, will give beginning astronomers key pointers on how to set up and get the best performance from their instruments at Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s meeting June 24. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Read)
Astrophysicist will talk about getting the most out of a telescope at Nanaimo astronomy meeting

John Read’s purchase of a $13 telescope led to a degree in astrophysics and a career in astronomy

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read