Zephyrhills Free Press

Junior Olympians

Karate athletes Kaydee Stambaugh and Gabriel Coleman of Zephyrhills set to compete in Houston

As the eyes of the world are on the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, a pair of young Zephyrhills athletes will have their shot at Junior Olympic glory.

Karate athletes Kaydee Stambaugh and Gabriel Coleman of Zephyrhills will be traveling to Houston to compete at the Junior Olympics representing the West Coast Karate tournament team of Lutz.

The Junior Olympics will start July 28 and runs through August 7. Joining Stambaugh and Coleman will be seven other members of their tournament team. The West Coast Karate from Lutz is barely a year old, opening July 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. The West Coast Tournament Team has competed at all Florida Amateur Athletic Union this year as well as competing nationally last month.

The 14 members of the team went to Nationals in North Carolina the first week of July and brought home 14 medals including seven gold, five silver and two bronze. West Coast Karate was named a top 20 karate club in the Nation. The team members are working on their own skill sets, learning what it means to support teammates and to be a part of something bigger then themselves.

The team members range in age from 5 to 18 and all work together. The trip to the Junior Olympics is an honor and comes with an expense. The team has started a go fund me to help offset the costs for the athletes. The team is in the process of creating its not-for-profit status to be able to do fundraisers next season. The GoFundMe information is https://gofund.me/db47a080.

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