Welcome to My Rally Campaign
Hi! I'm Haley. I am 9 years old and from the small town of Pretty Prairie, Kansas. I have been competing nationally in Judo for almost 4 years. I train at Air Capital Judo in Wichita, KS. My goal this year is to compete at the 2019 US Open Judo Championships in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I have competed the past two years at the US Open and love the experience there. Getting to compete against other judo players from all over the world is a great experience, and the training camp afterwards with Olympic Coach Jimmy Pedro, Jr. and his staff is amazing!
Why I'm Raising Funds
Competing at the US Open takes a lot of hard work - both on the mat and off. This year has been especially hard for me and my family. I had to miss out on training for a couple of months. I was really sick, and had to spend some time in the hospital, and then undergo surgery to remove my gall bladder. I've still got the scars, but I'm fully recovered and back to training as hard as I can!
My family also suffered the tragic loss of my Granny Judy and my 2-yr-old cousin in a fatal house fire this spring. My Granny was one of my biggest fans and I miss her every day, but I know she's always up there rooting for me!
How I Got Here
I started martial arts when I was 4 1/2 years old, in GoJu Ryu Karate. I jumped into Judo right before I turned 6, and added wrestling when I was 8. I love everything about competing and training. As a first-year wrestler, I won 2 State titles - both Freestyle and Folkstyle! I was also awarded the 'Hammer' Award for being one of the hardest working wrestlers on my team. I especially like the discipline and knowledge that Judo requires. Did you know that to compete in Judo you have to know all of the terms in Japanese? All of the calls made during our matches are in Japanese. I currently hold a Green belt in Judo, and part of our belt-testing is Japanese vocabulary. As my sensei like to say "If you can't name a throw in Japanese, you shouldn't be throwing it."
Join My Team and Spread the Word!
I look forward to representing my team, my family, and all of my supporters at my competitions! I would love to be able to include as many of you as possible in that group. Every little bit of help is greatly appreciated! Please consider donating, or contacting me with any questions you might have. I'd love to talk to you!
Elizabeth A Shepherd