Jordan Branker will represent Canada and the University of Ottawa next month as he travels to Taipei with Canada’s delegation to the 29th Summer Universiade which will run from August 19-30. The Universiade is organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) as an international multi-sports event for university athletes.
Branker is a Sanda athlete, a martial art discipline which falls under the International Wushu Federation. He trains out of the Cumberland Martial Arts Academy with his coach, Robert Teske, while pursuing his degree in the Faculty of Social Sciences, majoring in sociology with a minor in political science.
“What I like about it is that you can test your abilities without worrying about violence or injuries. To me it’s about: how can my training, my discipline, and my hard work translate to application. I’d like people to know is that it’s as much a chess match as a sport – it’s a lot more cerebral and thought-provoking.”, says Branker.
This spring he made his first appearance at the Canadian National Championships and advanced through the single elimination draw to the final in his weight category. That performance qualified him to compete at the Universiade and represent Canada internationally for the first time.
Branker, who started first year at uOttawa in 2013 and has one semester remaining, grew up in Ottawa and began training in Sanda only two years ago. “… the strategic part is what I need to work on. There’s never too much learning.” Branker’s mother was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland (…) and Branker’s Dad is from Bridgetown, Barbados. “I think it represents Canada perfectly. My multicultural background – Canada is about embracing people and diversity. Coming from that background shows that I am a product of Canada. I think by having my parents who were both immigrants be able to set up roots here, have kids, and have those kids represent the country, I think that’s the epitome of Canada.”
Outside of his sport, Branker hopes to pursue a career in politics and credits uOttawa part time professor Joseph Sawan as an influence on his thinking. “I had a class with him in first year which opened my mind up to a lot of things. ‘How can you comment on the world if you are not trying to change it' is one mentality that I got from him.”