BY ANDY LABDON
Devdan Chegus of Watson School is heading to Munich, Germany to compete in the Taekwondo World Championships on April 24-28. Chegus came to the sport in January 2014 at the age of 10. Today at age 15, he has reached First Junior Black Belt level and is the second-youngest athlete on this year’s Canadian team. It’s a remarkable achievement in such a short period. “I started the sport for something to do and for the purpose of self-defence,” Chegus says, who trains at the Watson Taekwondo Club with the trainer Jeff Turchyn. His training schedule covers two hours at the club four or ﬁve days a week plus the training he does in his own time. The training schedule at the club consists of 30 minutes warm-up, physical training, running, push-ups and body exercises. Then it’s into one hour of technique, drills and patterns, and sparring. After that, he helps with instruction and more sparring. To keep in shape Chegus says diet is essential. “I don’t eat meat, and have to keep weight in mind as this would affect the light/ heavyweight class I compete in.” Chegus earned second place in the light-heavy sparring category in the 14-17 age group at the National Championships held in Calgary. There can be quite the difference between a 14-year-old and 17-year-old and, as Chegus admits, “It can be quite difficult against 17-year olds.” That second-place finish that qualiﬁed him for the world championship team. His most prominent wins in competition are the Western Championships and Provincial Championships but remember’s his ﬁrst at the Nationals in 2014, just a year after he started the sport. Coming away with a bronze and gold was quite the achievement. “Right from the beginning, the sport came pretty naturally to me. It took less than three years to achieve a black belt level, whereas the average time is three-plus.”
Even though Chegus is competing with Team Canada, he still has to raise funds for travel expenses and is now busy with fundraising efforts. If you would like to help a local lad become a World Champion, then call this number 306-229-5222.
BY ANDY LABDON