Nash to represent Canada at World Combat Games
By Laura Lennie
Stoney Creek kickboxer Chelsey Nash is heading to the international mat.
The 22-year-old will represent Canada at the World Combat Games in October in Russia.
“I can’t even think of the right words to describe how I feel about earning this opportunity – proud, excited, anxious, determined, overwhelmed, ecstatic – it’s like a mish-mash of emotions all together,” she said. “I’m proud that I’ve accomplished what I have, I’m excited for the training and what’s to come to prepare for the games this year.”
Nash, who trains at United Family Martial Arts under the guidance of her brother Trevor Nash, earned her trip 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 month 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.
“The moment I realized that I had won, I think I felt the weight of the world lift off my shoulders. I looked back at my coach, Lauren Kearney, breathed the biggest sigh of relief and smiled at her; I nodded my head to her as if to say, ‘We did it,’” Nash said. “All the hard work and sacrifice put in for this tournament had finally paid off. It was an amazing feeling, simply euphoric.”
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, 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 World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO).
The International Olympic Committee-sanctioned World Combat Games will feature 15 disciplines of martial arts competition. Nash will battle seven female kickboxing qualifiers from various countries and regions.
Should she be successful in her pursuit of gold, she will be the first and only Canadian and North American – male or female – to win a World Combat Games championship, WAKO championship, five consecutive Diamond Nationals Diamond Rings and a plethora of other kickboxing titles.
“It seemed like such a long road to get to Brazil, but now it’s just getting started for Russia and I can’t wait,” Nash said. “I’m giving my body a little break, some time to rest and heal and enjoying spending time with my family over the holidays. I’ll hit the training hard soon to get myself prepared for what’s in store for Russia.”