Nash to represent Canada at World Combat Games
Chelsey Nash hopes to fight her way into the record books this month.
The 23-year-old Stoney Creek kick-boxer will represent Canada at the World Combat Games Oct. 18 to Oct. 26 in Russia. Should she be successful in her pursuit of gold, she will be the first and only Canadian or North American – male or female – to win a World Combat Games championship, World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) championship, five consecutive Diamond Nationals Diamond Rings and a plethora of other kickboxing titles.
“I feel very honoured and humbled by the opportunity to represent the nation at the games. It’s a very big deal for me, my family, my training partners and just the sport in general,” Nash said. “I feel a little overwhelmed at times – I won’t lie – it’s a lot of pressure, but I feel good about it. I feel like this is what I needed to step up my game and put another accomplishment under my belt.”
Nash, who trains at United Family Martial Arts under the guidance of her brother Trevor Nash, earned her ticket to the World Combat Games after scoring a gold medal in the women’s 18 plus, semi-contact kickboxing, 60-kilogram class at the international event’s qualifier last December in Brazil. She competed in three, two-minute round matches against fighters from Brazil, Chile and Argentina, kicking and punching her way to two 10-0 victories and an 11-1 win.
Nash said the moment she realized she scored her trip to the World Combat Games she breathed a sigh of relief.
“Preparing for an event like that is such a long process. You train all year and you have to give up so much of your life; you have to be disciplined with everything – training, your diet – everything has to be on point,” she said. “After I won, I felt like all the hard work and sacrifice had finally paid off and I was one step closer to fulfilling my goal of going to the games. I know I have to train even harder for it than I did for Brazil.”
The International Olympic Committee-sanctioned World Combat Games will feature 15 disciplines of martial arts competition.
Nash will battle seven female kickboxing qualifiers from Europe, South Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.
She has been busy training for her competition.
“I’m doing some sort of training every day. I think the reality of going to the games is starting to sink in – it’s now or never,” Nash said. “I think it’s really hitting me that everything needs to be perfect now. It’s crunch time.”
Nash said when she’s not training for the World Combat Games, she’s dreaming about competing there.
“I think about it every day. I feel like to be successful at the games, I need to keep doing what I’ve always done, which is train hard and stay focused,” she said. “I’m going to try and approach the games the same way I approached Brazil, I’m just going to try and take it up a notch. I’m sticking with the game plan, I’m just picking up the intensity a little bit.”
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.
Nash has gone on to represent Canada at events in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico, Portugal and Spain as a member of the internationally-sponsored John Paul Mitchell Team.
She has won world titles in the National Black Belt League, North American Sport Karate Association, World Kickboxing Council, World Kickboxing Association and WAKO.
Nash said the World Combat Games is one of the last major tournaments she hasn’t won.
“Right now, that’s my motivation, to accomplish that goal and then take it from there. I have no idea what kind of opportunities are going to open up to me afterwards or where my heart will be at,” she said. “I want to be able to say, ‘OK, I’ve accomplished the things that I’ve set out to accomplish.’ I have a really good team behind me and I just want to do them, my country and my sport proud.”