By Geraldine Alphonse Pabon
SHE’S striving for a double major in Finance and Economics at Curtin University and proudly carries a black belt in karate.
Meet the 19-year-old Montenegrian who is Perth’s next Olympic hopeful.
Tijana Stevovic, a Martial Arts of Karate Kata champion, moved to Perth just nine months ago and has already competed in events such as the Australian Karate State Championships, where she came third.
The teenager’s next goal is to perform in the Australian Karate Nationals, a competition run under The Australian Karate Federation (AKF).
The AKF is endorsed by the Federal Government, the Australian Olympics Committee and the Australian Sports Committee. Tijana wants to be able to represent Australia in the next Olympics and hopes she can be selected by the AKF to do so.
If she becomes a member of the AKF and is then selected by the Olympics Committee, according to the Australian visa processors, a foreigner person who wants to represent Australia in competitions such as the Olympics, are able to apply for a sponsor visa that allows them to stay in Australia as a resident.
Miss Stevovic , a regular at Yoseikan-Ryu Karate in Perth, one of the best schools in Australia for Karate Kata, says she has been embraced by her new karate family.
“Coming to Australia was a big challenge for me, especially when it comes to karate. I have been training with them since February, and luckily have met amazing people there who I am happy to call my new karate family,” Miss Stevovic says.
Kata is a Japanese word that represents the detailed patterns of movements that are practiced in solo or in pairs. This form of karate is focused on the stability and balance of the body while maintaining a perfect form of breathing and movements.
It’s an art Miss Stevovic has mastered for a long time.
At the age of five, after giving up on ballet, she discovered her passion was martial arts,
With 14 years’ experience in Kata under her belt, it’s no wonder she has been part of the “Balkan Karate Championships”, one of the biggest karate competitions in Europe.