Church Point siblings compete in Junior Pan-Am karate competition

Riley Deveau qualified and heading to worlds in Spain this October

Published on August 31, 2017

Trysten and Riley Deveau, a sister and brother karate duo from Church Point, who’ve just returned home after competing at the Junior Pan American Karate Championships August 23 to 26 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

©Gordon Chan

CHURCH POINT, NS – Karate kids and siblings Trysten and Riley Deveau are back home after competing at the Junior Pan American Karate Championships in Argentina.

Trysten, 20, and Riley, 16, both competed in Buenos Aires as part of the Karate Canada team from August 23 to 26. Nearly 800 athletes from North and South America competed at the tournament.

It doesn’t matter where you’re from. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, dreams don’t just need to be dreams.

Riley Deveau

Trysten competed in the u21 women’s Kumite team, placing three fighters from each team against each other. The team placed fifth overall. Riley fought in the boys’ u16-17 under-61 kilo division and finished as the highest-ranking Canadian, qualifying him for Junior World Championships in October.

“We’re two kids from a very small town, but we compete on an international level. That just shows that people really can do anything,” said Trysten.


The tournament

This tournament marked Riley’s second Pan American Championships, and Trysten’s seventh and last.

Once competitors turn eighteen, they can compete at both Junior and Senior levels. After this year, Trysten will compete solely at seniors.

Trysten Deveau, who’s next big competition will be competing at nationals this year in Halifax.

©Gordon Chan

This competition was Riley’s first break into his new age category.

“I was really nervous at first, being amongst the youngest competitors in my category,” he said.

“But then I channelled that and concentrated, and I had a great first fight, beating my competitor 8-0.”

October will also mark Riley’s first competition at the worlds level.

“It’s pretty cool that he’s just getting started as I’m leaving this level,” said Trysten.

“He’s going to accomplish great things.”


Back to basics

Both started back up at the Bushino Ki Karate Club with sensei Anna Bartlett as soon as they got home.

In addition to helping Bartlett with kids’ classes on weekends, training happens during the week.

Trysten is training for individual competition at this year’s nationals in Halifax. If she places in the top two, she’ll be off to Pan American Championships in May.

Riley Deveau, who says he’s “training like an animal” to get ready for the Junior World Championships this October in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.

©Gordon Chan

Riley is also training hard for the upcoming world championships.

“I’m training like an animal. Before school, after school and before bed. I’ll put in three to four hours per day,” he said.

He says training with his sister over the years has been a special form of inspiration for him.

“I always learn from her. She’s taught me a lot, and training with her is awesome,” he said.


Church Point to the world stage

Even with hours spent training and competing in Argentina, Trysten and Riley and their fellow teammates managed to squeeze in some time for exploring, visiting market areas around the city and seeing landmarks.

Riley’s next stop is Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Spain, where 1600 athletes – 50 in his category alone – will compete.

The siblings feel lucky that karate has allowed them to travel and compete at such a level, and feel reaching similar goals is possible for anyone with a little hard work and dedication.

“It doesn’t matter where you’re from. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, dreams don’t just need to be dreams,” said Riley.

“Your passion will take you places.”