TRAVERSE CITY — With a pair of state titles and a district championship between them, Yvonne St. Croix and Tre Powis already have shown a knack for competing at a high level in taekwondo.
That has earned the two siblings the right to put themselves up against the best the world has to offer.
Both are set to travel to Little Rock, Ark. in less than two weeks for the American Taekwondo Association World Championships.
Powis, 12, is the reigning state and district champion and will compete in forms, sparring, weapons and combat at the world event. St. Croix, 7, and a state champion, will compete on the big stage in weapons and forms.
“It’s big,” said Master Chris Pline, owner of Traverse City ATA Martial Arts, where the two children train. “There will be thousands of competitors down there at the world championships.”
Both of the kids have found success despite being relatively new to the sport. Powis has been involved in taekwondo for two years and St. Croix for only 10 months.
“It’s really fun,” St. Croix said of taekwondo. “And you can actually defend yourself when you’re doing it. I had been seeing it in movies and I thought it looked really, really cool so I started doing it.”
St. Croix, a blue belt (four steps below a black belt), is going to the event with a care-free attitude, happy to be participating and the excitement of seeing the multitude of competitors from across the globe.
“I know it’s going to be fun getting to watch all the other contestants and cheering,” she said, adding that her three goals are “to do my best, make new friends and have fun.”
Her brother acknowledges the trip to the world championships will be a big step.
“It’s worlds, Australia and everybody is coming to the event,” he said. “The magnitude, I didn’t feel it at first, but once I got to be district champion I thought, ‘wow, this is going to be a really big step.’ It’s going to be really tough for me.”