Errin Cann’s a wushu history maker at age 10
Errin Cann made local history competing at the 13th Pan American Wushu Championships in Brasilia, Brazil, at the weekend.
The ten-year-old West Pembroke School student secured the silver medal with a score of 8.250 in the 11 and under Female Group C Jianshu (straight sword) to become the island’s first medal-winner at the championships, which concluded yesterday.
“I must say I was actually pretty surprised that she had won a medal,” Garon Wilkinson, the Bermuda Sanshou Association president, told The Royal Gazette. “That was not in my immediate expectations; I just really wanted her to place well. So for her to win a medal is beyond what I had expected and we are super elated.”
The gold went to Sabrina Ding, of the United States, with Sara Bruno, of Chile, claiming bronze.
Cann, who was awarded a 2021 Bermuda Government Junior Achievement Award for her accomplishments in wushu, also competed in changquan (longfist), where she finished twelfth.
She has thrived competing on the international stage in recent months, having also earned a gold and silver medal at the Phoenix Wushu Nationals last December.
Bermuda was also represented in Brazil by Kaelin Cox, who placed eighth in Men’s Optional Nanquan (southern fist).
The 26-year-old held his own competing in modern wushu for the first time.
“Kaelin did an excellent job,” Wilkinson said. “He is a veteran martial arts competitor, even on the international scene
“This was his first time competing in modern wushu. He’s known as traditional stylist, but he has made the transition to modern wushu.”
Cox made his Bermuda debut at the same event in 2018 when it was held in Argentina competing in san da (Chinese kickboxing), the discipline in which Bermuda has a good international reputation.
Oscar Lightbourne, Dwayne Cox, Chaquita Simmons, Nolette Webb, Jecoa Burrows, Shampagne Cann and Adriano Lourenco da Silva were the remaining members of the island’s contingent in Brazil.
Before the championships, Lightbourne, the technical director of Bermuda’s team and a member of the Pan American Wushu Federation Technical Committee, formed part of the committee that conducted an intense four-day judges training course.
The courses produced three newly qualified Bermuda judges after Dwayne Cox, Simmons and Webb passed the final exam and served as san da judges during the championships, while Lightbourne served on the arbitration panel.
“For them to pass the stringent san da examinations under the Pan American Wushu Federation sanction is a thing that Bermuda should be really proud of,” Wilkinson said.
“It really puts us in a good position to host regional events here in Bermuda since we have the infrastructure as well as the judges to be able to hold such an event, so I am really pleased overall.
“We had a small team but a very strong team and Bermuda really made an impact.”
Burrows and Da Silva served as youth and adult taolu coaches for competitors Cann and Kaelin Cox.
Da Silva, of Brazil, spent three months in Bermuda in 2020 to launch the island’s taolu programme.