Since the age of seven, Brome Lake resident Zachary Pilon has been focussed on karate. Son of Richard Pilon, the proprietor of Star Café, he reached the black-belt milestone on May 27, at the age of 14. In June, he competed in an international meet of Shink Yokushin karate during the Karate Dream Festival organized by the government of Japan for 36 participating countries. During two days of competition and training in dojos, Zachary learned that for the Japanese, the respect of self and others, and each technical detail is of great importance.

Enormously disciplined, this young athlete is enrolled in the Massey-Vanier sport-study program. He trains at the Cowansville dojo with Alain Veilleux and other sensei three evenings a week for 90 minutes in the company of adult members, and for two hours on Sundays. Over and above this regimen, he keeps fit daily at home with 100 push ups, 100 sit ups with a load of 35 lbs, 100 squats with 35 lbs, and 45 minutes of punching bag. Obviously, a very serious competitor. Disciplined and motivated, he has been training mainly with adults since the age of 10 because he has no challenge with young people his age.

Who would have thought that a seven-year old youngster, who got his first taste of karate during lunch hours at St- Édouard school, would aspire to become a world champion? If he stays focussed on training and continues his assent in the ranks of karate, TBL might in a few years have a home-grown karate world champ. Meanwhile, karate instills in him discipline and better control of emotions, two qualities that benefit everyone, even adults. Kudos Zachary!

Translation: Jean-Claude Lefebvre