Kanata teen's a champion in karate

ROB BRODIE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 1:04 PM ET

She's a three-time karate champion, with the sharp eye of an artist and the analytical brain of a scientist or perhaps a lawyer.

Options? Daisy Williams has more than just a few at the tender age of 17, as she ponders a future filled with seemingly boundless possibilities.

"It feels great (to have choices)," said the Kanata teen. "It gives you a broader view of life. If you do more things, you can relate to more people and understand them."

All of this took root in karate, and still has a connection to the ancient martial art at which she has succeeded so greatly at a young age. Last month in Niagara Falls, Williams earned a trio of gold medals at the World Karate Association amateur championships.

Competing in the junior girls (age 13-17) +63 class, Williams topped the field in point karate and continuous kickboxing, and won the deciding match to clinch the team gold for Canada.

Add that to a world gold in 2002 in Italy, and it's been quite the career already.

Not too shabby for a girl who wasn't exactly enamoured with the sport the first time she tried it seven years ago.

"When we first put her in karate, after the first practice session, she came home and said 'mom, I'm not sure I'd like to continue,' " said Daisy's mother, Victoria Donnelly. "But we told her to go for another month. Then she started to like it, and from there we saw a step-by-step progression."

Williams, who started into karate "primarily to learn how to defend myself," got a little more excited about it all when she began entering -- and winning -- karate tournaments. Within 21/2 years, she'd earned her black belt. Six months after that came her first world title in Italy.

Along the way, Williams developed an eye for art, starting out with pencil drawings and moving forward from there.

"I've always liked drawing," said Williams, a winner at the Nepean student showcase art competition the past two years. "Even when I was little, I'd draw to express myself.

"Right now, it's for my own enjoyment. But I'm planning a website to sell reproductions of my work. It's an alternate career choice."

That's if the legal or medical professions don't get her first. Williams is a 95 average student in Grade 12 at Bell High School, where she is enrolled in the gifted student program. Right now, she aims to begin studying mathematics and physics at the University of Ottawa next fall.

"I want to be a professor or a lawyer," she said.

Williams' education won't stop soon. Both her mother and father, Allan Williams, own PhDs in physics, and Daisy wants one of her own.

"They are such an inspiration to me," she said. "I really want my PhD, too."

Daisy's mother also mentions engineering and medicine as career paths within her daughter's reach.

"We encourage her not to close doors on anything earlier than necessary," Donnelly said. "We want her to choose exactly what she wants to do with her life."

Williams also finds time to sail with the Nepean Sailing Club during the summer -- she has her silver sail racing qualifications -- and makes time for friends, several of whom are high achievers like herself.

How does she fit it all in?

"Time management," said Williams, who trained 6-7 times a week at Steve Anderson Karate to prepare for the Niagara Falls worlds.

"I manage it all very, very well. I'm not one of those people who sits on the couch watching TV. I always stay on task and always have goals. If you keep them in mind, you'll accomplish them."

Karate, she'll tell you, has taught her the necessary discipline and work ethic to pull it all off.

"My coaches, Ben Stewart and Steve Anderson, really stress that," she said. "They say if you come and train a lot, you'll see the results."

And seeing is believing.

SUPER OPPORTUNITY: Three St. Mark's Lions football players survived the provincial Team Canada tryouts in Guelph, and will head to the national camp Dec. 16-19 in Montreal. Defensive linemen Scott Fournier and Scott Mitchell, and slotback/receiver Michael Doucette are hoping to make the final grade for the Canadian squad, which will participate in the NFL Global Championships at the Pontiac Silverdome the week before Super Bowl XL in Detroit. Canada is the defending champion.

AROUND THE AMATEUR SCENE: Four Ottawa Fury youth players -- Kelly Avalos (U14 defender), Janelle Blake (U16 defender), Anhnhi Tran (U16 midfielder) and Orhan Akkaya (U17 forward) -- were picked for ODP select teams at the North American finals in Tampa, Fla. ... Goaltender Danik Ouimet of Casselman has been named to the Canadian amputee hockey team for 2006.

rob.brodie@ott.sunpub.com


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