Nash to represent Canada at World Combat Games qualifier
By Laura Lennie, News Staff
Chelsey Nash is in pursuit of a dream.
The 22-year-old Stoney Creek native is heading to the World Combat Games qualifier in December in Brazil, where she hopes to kick and punch her way to the opportunity of representing her hometown and country at the international games next year in Russia.
“I set out a hefty goal for myself a few years ago when I turned 18 and started to compete as an adult; my goal was to win a world title in every top competitive league for my sport and so far, I have won world titles in the National Black Belt League, North American Sport Karate Association, World Kickboxing Council, World Kickboxing Association and World Association of Kickboxing Organizations,” said Nash, who will be competing in the women’s 18-plus, semi-contact kickboxing -60 kilogram class at the games qualifier.
“The only prestigious league left in my mind to win is the World Combat Games; no other Canadian competitor, male or female, has done this, which makes it that much more special to me. My ultimate goal at the end of the day is to be recognized as the best female fighter ever in our sport.”
Nash, who trains at United Family Martial Arts under the guidance of her brother Trevor Nash, earned her trip to the World Combat Games qualifier after participating in a tournament in July in Mississauga.
“After making it official that I would be representing my country at the World Combat Games qualifier in Brazil, I felt pretty pumped. It gave me that extra bit of motivation to train even harder,” she said. “I am so proud to be representing my country. I can't wait to show the world what Canada has to offer in our sport competitively.”
Nash became interested in combat sports at a young age.
At age four, she started taking karate lessons after her brother took up the sport.
“Karate has many different aspects to it; my favourite was always the sparring and that is what I excelled in,” Nash said. “The older I got, the more opportunities became available to me and that’s when I started to really blossom as a fighter.
"I really enjoy the quickness, speed and ‘chess match’ of semi-contact (kickboxing) – it’s always changing or evolving, so you’re constantly looking for new ways to improve your game and stay one step ahead of the competition.”
Nash has represented Canada at events in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal and Spain as a member of the internationally-sponsored John Paul Mitchell Team.
“I’ve made some of the most amazing friendships with people all around the world. I consider some of these people to be my closest friends,” she said. “It’s truly special. I’m so blessed to be able to do what I do, travel the world, make friends and compete doing something I love.”
Nash’s World Combat Games qualifier competition will include fighters from across the globe.
She will fight in three, two-minute round matches, with hopes of earning the highest score and moving on to the next round.
Nash is feeling confident heading into the event, thanks to the continuous support of her brother, teammates and friends.
“My brother always says, ‘the fight is won or lost in the dojo; you put in the hard work there and the results will show in the ring.’ I know how hard I train and how bad I want this,” she said, adding her brother is her biggest supporter. “I’m treating this tournament just like I would any other tournament I would attend. I need to stay focused on my goal and take it one fight at a time.”
Nash said all of her experiences on the mat have helped prepare her for the World Combat Games qualifier.
“I've been competing for as long as I can remember, so I know how to prepare myself, how to think, what needs to be done the days and night before a tournament. It all makes a huge difference,” she said. “You can train 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but what it comes down to is how you perform in the ring. One of my favourite sayings is, ‘there's always a way to win and my job is to find it.’”
Nash said the qualifier is “one of the last pieces to the puzzle.”
“I want to make sure I do everything I possibly can to make it all come together. Right now, I just have to focus on training and preparing myself to the best of my ability and the rest will fall into place,” she said. “I'm going to take it one step at a time. First, qualify in Brazil, then I'll start looking toward Russia next year.”
For more information on how you can assist Nash in her quest for World Combat Games domination, call (905) 902-8668 or visit www.facebook.com/ChelseyNash.