There’s more to Darlene Clark than meets the eye and if someone were to scratch below the surface they might find she could make them $20,100 richer.
That’s because she’s on the front of the B.C. Lottery Corporation’s latest series of SportsFunder Homegrown Heroes scratch-and-win tickets, a series that features athletes from around the province and which shares proceeds with amateur sports.
Seeing herself on the tickets, holding a staff in a karate pose, is a little weird, Clark admits, but she’s flattered too.
Her husband, Collin, took the photo at a karate tournament in 2003 and when they heard about the lottery corporations call for submissions for the tickets, they sent the photo in last fall.
The couple didn’t hear anything until the week after Christmas when she learned she was a finalist. She gave a brief interview about herself and then in March she found out she won.
Aside from the good photo, Clark’s efforts to promote karate and her volunteer work with Girl Guides also helped get on the tickets.
Clark completed Brownies all the way to Pathfinders and is even active in the Link program, for women in their 20s.
Until this year she was ran a Girl Guide unit but she had to step back from some of her responsibilities to train for the World Chito-Ryu Karate Championships in Norway this August.
The championships have been her focus this season and she’s made some sacrifices to prepare for the competition.
“This is the first year I’ve been running. I don’t like running.”
She’s mostly serious when she says this, but Clark’s sensei, Darren Harpe, told her if she wants to be a world champion, she has to run.
The bigger sacrifice for Clark was to step back from Girl Guides. It wasn’t a clean break, however.
She runs some programs for Guides, introducing girls to karate.
“I think this is a great way to introduce sports to kids at an impressionable age,” she said, adding the lessons allow her to combine her two passions Girl Guides and karate.
Karate isn’t a cheap passion, though. Clark qualified for the B.C. karate squad, an opportunity to try out for the provincial team heading to nationals, but limited resources meant she had to pick between nationals and worlds.
Worlds won out and she, along with Dylan Riches, Michael Houg, and Ian Henderson, all from the Prince George Chito-Ryu Karate Club, have been raising money for the trip.
They’ve held garage sales and helped with local events to raise money, but the funds won’t cover the expenses and help is welcome
Clark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if anyone would like to help.