Second student from Scottsdale Martial Arts makes U.S. Junior National Team
Scottsdale Martial Arts Center, Inc., (SMAC) is pleased to announce that karate student and native Scottsdale resident 18-year-old Sabrina Arevalo has been invited to represent team USA Karate at the 2019 Junior Pan American Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador, from Aug. 26 – 31, 2019, following her competitive performance at the 2019 USA Karate National Championships and Team Trials in Schaumburg, Illinois, earlier this month.
Securing a spot on the U.S. Junior National Karate Team is a long-time dream come true for Sabrina who first began her karate training at SMAC at the young age of five. A member of SMAC’s elite competition team since 2009, making the U.S. team signifies a culmination of karate training, core conditioning and competing year-round to achieve her goal.
“I am beyond excited to represent my country in the sport I love. Being a member of the U.S. Junior National Team has been a dream of mine since I was twelve,” said Sabrina Arevalo. “For years, I have been working towards this goal. When I first got the news that I was heading to Ecuador for the Pan American Championships, it felt absolutely invigorating! I am ready to represent the U.S. and my dojo, Scottsdale Martial Arts Center.”
While Sabrina is the first Scottsdale resident to represent the U.S. Junior National Team, she is actually the second SMAC athlete to recently make the team. Just last year, Christian Stienstra successfully represented team USA Karate at the 2018 Junior Pan American Championships held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
“Being on the U.S. team meant being given the honor and responsibility of representing my country, my karate dojo and all the people that have helped me over the years,” said Christian Stienstra. “It wasn’t just the fact that I’d made the team that made me happy. It was all the people that had taught me, trained with me and supported me over the years that really made the experience one of the greatest of my life thus far. It really is the team aspect that made the U.S. Junior National Team mean so much to me.”
On both SMAC competitors' recent successes, school owner and chief instructor Sensei Ray Hughes, said, “I’m very proud of what our athletes have been able to accomplish. It has taken ten years to develop this talent and we are starting to see the fruits of their labor.”
Junior National Team members and their coaches must cover most of their own travel expenses when representing USA Karate. To help offset costs for Sabrina and her coach, the Champions Foundation of Arizona, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicating to helping Arizona-based martial artists, is assisting through fundraising initiatives and contributions (http://bit.ly/2LEOhXO).