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Windsor's own 'karate kid' heads to Commonwealth competition


Ian Armour (left) competed at the US Karate Open in Las Vegas in March. Submitted

By Jennifer Hoegg

The Hants Journal/

Edinburgh is the destination of choice for one Windsor teen next weekend. Ian Armour, 18, flies to Scotland to compete in the Commonwealth Karate Championships May 31- June 1. One of two Nova Scotians on the Canadian adult karate team, Armour will compete in the 85-plus kilogram division.

Back home in Nova Scotia, Armour is nominated for Individual Male Athlete of the Year and part of Team of the Year at the Sports Nova Scotia IKON awards, which are scheduled to be presented May 31. “I’m excited for both,” Armour said in an interview. “It’s always a great thing to be nominated for awards. The awards aren’t the reason I do it. I’m honoured, but it’s not my goal in life to win awards.”

The well-travelled Avon View senior is looking forward to his first visit to Scotland. Past international trips include pan-American, world and open karate championships in Ecuador, the Netherlands Antilles, Uruguay, Turkey and Las Vegas.

Quito, Ecuador, is Armour’s favourite destination, so far. “A great city, beautiful churches. There was a lot to see and do there and we were able to go to the actual equator.”

Dedicated athlete

Armour has been involved in karate for 10 years and currently trains with the Windsor Renseikan Karate Club. 2008 is his sixth year with the Nova Scotian team and his third year with the Canadian team.

Only eight when he first tried karate, Armour had goals from day one. “I knew I wanted to be in shape. From there it turned into a whole other world- discipline, respect- all the things an athlete should be involved in.”

He noted that “the training … drives me to do my best- not just in karate but in other sports.”

Last fall, Armour was thrilled to fulfill one of his childhood dreams, earning a spot at the Junior World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. He has good reason to be proud of the accomplishment, being the first Nova Scotian to attend Junior Worlds.

Discipline and support

The busy rugby, wrestling and football player will move on to Queen’s University in August, to play football and study psychology.

Armour credits his achievements so far to the discipline he learned on the mat. “If I didn’t do karate, I know I wouldn’t be so successful in all these other sports.”

Good coaching has also contributed, he said. “All my coaches in all my sports, I really have to say ‘thanks’ to them for making me the person I am today. They have all pushed me to another level. I have been very fortunate in everything I have done to have such good coaches.”

Family support has made the big difference, he added. Mother, Karen, is also involved in karate and is one of Armour’s coaches. “She’s always been the one there with me.”

Younger siblings Duncan and Gail’s involvement in the sport make it a family affair. “My older brother (Dougal) and dad (Jamie) don’t do (karate), but they’re supportive.”

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