This is another one of those quick blogs I really wished to post earlier but never had time to complete. I will now share it with my loyal readers, with just a few hours until the Miss Teenage Canada final show. All editing done, photos inserted and ready to publish. Also, my hair is now done, my makeup is set and I’m ready to go. So now you may wonder why is was so important for me to make this blog. Sure, I am athlete, and my life is mostly dedicated to Karate trainings and competitions but I have a different side to my personality as well. One that not many get to see, aside from family and friends and once in a while on stage performances for holiday concerts.

I was around 11 years old here!

Since I was 10 years old, I have played the violin. My music school, Arcadia Academy of music has been incredibly supportive in my musical journey. They have first taught me the basics, then sculpted me to the musician I am today. I am incredible lucky to have such as amazing violin teacher, Miss Dana Bultje, who’s just pure musical talent. I dare say genius! She began violin since she was very young and she comes from a musical family. That, I can relate to! I come from a musical family as well!

 

Please enjoy watching my younger self playing the violin. These selected videos are from years ago when I was still amateur:

https://www.facebook.com/MissTeenageNewmarket2018/videos/1909518899068867/

That is my mom playing the Setar!

My mom plays the Persian musical instrument Setar, my dad loves to sing whenever he gets the chance and my sister is an incredibly gifted and talented piano composer. She is a pianist, but aside from that, since she was my age, she would compose the most beautiful melodies on the piano that when she performs, others usually ask for the composer. When she mentions that she has composed the piece herself, those who don’t know her doubt it because they don’t believe a normal, common girl like her would be able to do that! I love her so much as I know how much that sometimes others unintentionally hurt her feelings. She composes right on the spot most of the time and sometimes posts videos of her compositions on her social media. I wish to be just like her! She inspires me.

My sister Ava, playing one of her original songs on the piano at a wedding!

Sometimes we do a duet together and my sister plays on certain musical scale on the piano. Then she cues for me to join in and I play along on the same scale but on the violin! We make music like that together and I wouldn’t be exaggerating to say we actually sound pretty good! Sister-time is the best time! Music really makes us calm. And as an elite karate competitor, it really balances my emotions and mind because I sometimes need peace in order to recharge my energy, otherwise it just gets too tough and demanding!

With my talented Violin teacher, Miss Dana Bultje

I was incredibly surprised and happy to hear that my Music School, Arcadia Academy of Music actually wanted to do me a favour and record me playing in their music studio right before I left off for National camp Of Miss Teenage Canada 2018. I welcomed it with all my heart! Mr. Darryl Hillock, the franchise operator who is also a very advanced/professional musician made this video for that they actually shared the link with my during my stay at the camp. Thank you Arcadia for doing this! It honestly means so much to me!

Please enjoy the video they made of me below. I play Perfect, by Ed Sheeran:

By yours truly

Mahta – Miss Teenage Newmarket 2018

Written by: Mahta Tagged with:
Leave a comment

I’m on my phone and making last minute adjustments to this blog. I still don’t know why it took so long for me to finish this one, maybe because I hardly had time to work on it. With only a couple of hours left until the new Miss Teenage Canada is announced, I wish to give you all glimpse into my latest photoshoot only a few days prior to start of National Camp for this pageant. Prior to the start of the camp especially the week leading up to it, I’ve been very busy handling all my pageant responsibilities with my trainings that are seeming to be getting harder as the Ontario Team Selection Tournaments for 2019 are drawing closer in September.

And as mentioned in my previous blog post, I have started to also train for a new category of elite competitions on top of my usual kumite and kata trainings. This one is actually group kata, which I will be competing in as a team with two of my great friends who happen to be provincial kata champions as well. Together, the three of us are very in sync, powerful and impressive.

Two nights before the first day of the camp, I came home with a new blister on my foot and a swollen ankle due to injury. Ice Pack did little to relieve the pain. There’s also a cut across my ankle which was slowly healing. Nevertheless, I have made sure to practice walking in heels. I have also been working on perfecting my talent show performance. It sure was demanding but the content of it was left a surprise for the talent show night, which was yesterday.

It’s been an entire week of wrapping up my fundraiser efforts for WE Charity, going for a video-shoot at my Music School’s Studiowhich I’m very excited to share soon by the way in another blog by the way and also practicing for my interview (with and without my pageant coach) and all things pageant related. Not to mention the last minute shopping list that had to be taken care off! My family has been very supportive in that sense so for that I’m very thankful.

This photoshoot series was once again sponsored by my personal sponsor Nazbanoo Photo Studio. The photographer is always very gracious, professional and patient. Considering the fact that in this situation the photography skills demanded to be very different due to action motion, I’m thankful that it all went well and the results are amazing. I’ve chosen to wear my kata gi with the crest of Canada on it, the one I wear internationally in karate events. Also, I chose to proudly hold the Canadian flag, which looks spectacular with the lighting of the photos. I love this photoshoot so much as it was fun, interactive and intense!

Please enjoy the Photos I have selected to make into a video below and I always welcome feedback:

As a bonus, I invite all my readers to also watch the video of my journey as a karate athlete, all the way to this moment. It took almost 10 years, but I can say, it was a very rewarding period. This video is as brief as it gets. I have prepared since a month ago, but it turned out to be more than 10 minutes so I cut it down to 3:40 min. Please enjoy!

By yours truly,

Mahta – Miss Teenage Newmarket 2018

Written by: Mahta Tagged with:
Leave a comment

I’m so excited and overwhelmed with positive emotions right now that I don’t even know how to begin this blog! I’ve arrived, I’m finally here and I’m having such an amazing time already that I just can’t wait to see what Day 3 would bring at the Miss Teenage Canada 2018 Nationals. That’s right! Two days have passed already, and in blink of an eye too! During the National camp the management team keep us delegates so busy that we are constantly gaining new experiences, learning new things and becoming more independent by every passing hour that we don’t even realize! Well I’m realizing now…

Before arrival, it was a week full of running, more running and some more running. By that I mean getting my last minute clothes and personal items to pack. I have been somehow bombarded with so many tasks that I would leave the house early in the morning, have meals in the car and come back home at around 10:00 PM. I had additional group kata trainings in Mississauga, preparing for next months first Provincial Team Selection Tournament of the season. Also, the kumite trainings didn’t get easier during the last week, on the contrary. It became more intense. And the rule is to attend as much as possible, with no excuses. Last day I came back home with a new opened blister, injured/swollen and bruised ankle, and massive headache. Ice-pack and some polysporin did help. I was hoping the little cut in front of my leg would go away just in time for me to wear my heels. It did, slowly but surely. Not completely though…

But then again, that is the difficult part of my life that I’m somewhat used to so I can adapt. Next day I began walking in heels again, to practice my pageant walk. This is a good opportunity to mention, Canadian Beauties – Pageant Division has been my coach for this pageant. Mrs. Lisa Harrigan Joseph has prepared me for my stage walk as well as for interview. Not to brag, but she seemed impressed. I did need a few adjustments, most especially with how long my answers turned out to be. But I have learned to manage my time wisely and not to explain too much, like how I’m doing now… I’m truly thankful for all her help and support leading up to the pageant.

So practicing, walking in heels, recording at my music school’s studio for an interview/violin performance session (more on that later), taking action photoshoot series (blog about that coming soon), practicing for my talent show at my dojo with my Senseis and so on eventually came to this…. Day 1 of the pageant.


Day 1

I arrived at Centennial College at 5:45 PM, got the card/key to my room, met my lovely roommates and waited some time before settling down because one delegate was mistakenly settled in my room. I was immediately relieved to meet these ladies, Jaydlyn, Jessica and jacqueline because they were very warm and welcoming. It was such a relief. Naturally, the anticipation which lead to meeting them was slightly nerve-wracking because I would be meeting with new friends, and I would have to share a dormitory with them. They are so much fun to be around.

Once completely settled, all the ladies, including myself had to go down for meet and greet. We socialized and ate cake! I love cake! I have such a sweet tooth. It was the current reigning Miss Teenage Canada, Emma Morrison who cut the first piece. She was so nice to talk to! Before this, I have only had the chance to speak with her on social media. I’ve been an avid fan of her journey to Miss Teenager International in Mexico. She is much taller than expected too! What a princess. She appeared very confident and humble too. In fact all the current delegates seemed that way. My God, I saw some true beauties and I’m so humbled to be walking among them.

After taking some pictures as a group, we then received a girly pink bag with Miss Teenage Canada logo at the front that contained lots of cosmetic goods! I was so excited to go up to my room and try them on. Among the beauty products I scanned, there were some MAC Makeup Products that stood out for me! I absolutely adore the two eye shadows, one pink, other gold, as well as the rosy pink lipstick by MAC. The lipstick was so smooth on the lips, I love it!

By the end of the day, I just snuggled into my temporary bed and listened to some meditation music on my iphone to help clear off my mind before the next day, which would include the delegate interviews with the judges. Then I slowly dozed off. It was sure an eventful day, but wait until I explain about Day 2! In one word, I would describe it as insane!


Day 2

I woke up at 6:00 AM and actually slept the night before at 2:00 AM as I was getting used to my new bed and environment. And perhaps because I was overthinking about the next day and all the possible scenarios of how it would all play out during the interview. Meeting and speaking to the judges was very important for me. I wished to be myself and leave the right impression as I was truly desperate to prove to them what I had within me, my potential, and to let them know that yes, I may be young and small but I have a big heart and a loud voice, so please see me, believe in me and maybe give me a chance to showcase my talents and potential to more people. I feel like all these years in my life have lead to that moment, to stand in front of the judges and in that brief 2 minutes let them know who I truly am and what I stand for!

Of course, my vision is much more grand than my size and age. I believe in the power of a girl’s voice. I think even if one of us decide to speak up against injustices and in favour of what’s right, the world would be a much better place to live in. Because we are powerful and inspiring, every one of us! This is what I love about pageants! It gives girls and women the chance to show their beauty with a purpose and for this to be their starting platform towards bigger goals and more opportunities to make better change. I feel like I found the group that I belong too. Here, everyone has a grand vision. We are all alike. Different, but more similar than not, and distinctly unique!

Pulling an all-nighter now while typing this, but by the end I will pat myself in the back and just close my eyes and go to sleep with a smile on my face. I think the rest of this journey would be less challenging and basically more fun. For me the preliminary, talent show and finals are less challenging. Psychologically, walking in heels and rocking beautiful gowns just seems less demanding and more of a confidence boost. But that’s just me, for others it may be the opposite.

Going back to Day 2, I woke up early to review my notes and reevaluate if I needed to practice anything, but I felt like I had some renewed sense of confidence anyway, and a boost of adrenaline due to the excitement of that day. So all worry just washed away! I got ready and headed down. Breakfast at The Local Cafe and Restaurant (sponsor of this national teenage pageant) was delicious! I brought it up to my room! Specifically I got myself an apple-cranberry juice, oatmeal, and a blueberry muffin. I enjoyed it very much!

We then went back down to have our makeup and hair done by the Modern Makeup makeup artists and hair stylists, official sponsors of Miss Teenage Canada 2018 pageant. The lady who put on my makeup was very friendly and nice. She would make sweet compliments which boosted my self-esteem a lot, which was needed for the photoshoot soon after. My hair actually took a full hour as it’s very thick! I predicted this, it’s an inside joke for my family. I was so much hair on my head that it’s not even funny. But all the jokes aside, I really appreciate Modern Makeup for the refreshing makeover they gave me which sat on my skin really lightly and nicely.

I then got ready for a Photoshoot session with the MTC photographers. I changed into my cocktail dress, heels and accessories once again and headed out of the door. The Photoshoot went very well and the Photographer seemed to be having an easy time with me as I have had some experience before being in front of the camera and posing for it. I’ve done many photoshoots in the past, some of which I have shared on my blogs too. So everything was very efficient and I really felt confident in clothes.

Immediately after was my videoshoot session in which I had to explain about myself for 1 minute. I did it in one take and with no problem. The person behind the camera complimented me on that mentioning I think that must be the first. He somehow seemed relieved because I was the last to record and fastest to dismiss. I secretly think the makeup had something to do with it. It just boosted my confidence by 10 points.

I then went to get my lunch which was from Clean Meals, another sponsor of this pageant. All their food at Clean Meals are healthy, nutritious and fresh! Very high quality indeed! I enjoyed it. Interesting fact is, Clean Meals supports a charitable initiative called #ProjectEndHunger which aims to feeding as many homeless and less fortunate locals as possible in the GTA and Toronto. In 2017 they provided an impressive number of 504 meals to the homeless/less fortunate locals with the help of donations from people and some companies. I really like what they’re doing and the fact that they even thought about doing it. This act should be more popular in other restaurants as well. Very inspiring and praise-worthy!

I had to eat my meal after the interview as I was running late, due to how long it took on my hair. So I changed into my interview clothes quickly, and once again headed back down. The interview went as great as I expected. My instinct tells me since I was myself and didn’t try to change anything, I showed my honesty through transparent responses. I mean, my answers came before I thought too much, so that tells me it came from my feeling and according to a quote I once read on the internet, when you have this impression of yourself, it means you did well. The worse I could do was to pretend to be someone I’m not. I was, all I am. With no changes. The judges assured me that I did very well and that I am more mature than my age. This means the world to me. I certainly hope they liked me. They were very nice and comforting. I felt at ease once they assured me.

After that, I finally came back to my room and feasted on my delicious and healthy meal. I then went on to watch some motivational videos from my laptop and after began on making posts about Miss Teenage Canada official sponsors, photos and writing this blog. In fact, I have come back to finishing it off after my alarm clock rang. Yes! I had to do this just to finish before the start of day 3. What doesn’t kill you make you stronger as they. I’m not exactly sure how this makes me stronger, I think I may just be too sleepy to make any sense at this point. But not! One last fact before I go back to sleep!


I need to officially acknowledge the beautiful gown provided to me by the Official Miss Teenage Canada Sponsors “Bells and Bows Bridal Centre,” based in Alberta. I will wear my beautiful gown during the final show and another which I also love during the preliminary. My dress is designed by Rachel Allen. I will not explain the details about this dress because I still wish for it to remain a surprise until the finals. I really appreciate the great quality service that Bells and Bows provides for all it’s customers, most especially Miss Teenage Canada pageant. They were also very helpful in helping me find my dream gown. It matched my personality perfectly!

Last but not least, I almost forgot to mention the little surprise all delegates had when they got up to open the door after hearing a knock. We were all provided with cozy and comfortable “Level Wear Sports” sweaters. They are another of the Miss Teenage Canada official sponsors which we truly appreciate. The dorms tend to get cold at night, so I will make sure to wear it from now on.

Now… onto day 3! Can’t wait for what it will bring. I’m looking forward to visiting Casa Loma with all the delegates. We will feel like true princess in that setting, with the majestic castle and all it’s splendid beauty. I’ve been there before, so excited to visit it again! Until next time…

By yours truly,

Mahta – Miss Teenage Newmarket 2018

Written by: Mahta Tagged with:
Leave a comment

“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals…. If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are—we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.” – Emma Watson, actress, model, advocate for girls and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador at UN headquarters, launching HeforShe Campaign on September 20, 2014


True words, spoken by my long time idol. One of the women that I look up to has been Emma Watson for a very long time. What has truly set her apart from most other actors/actresses who reached fame from a very young age has been how grounded and humble she remained even after all these years. Fame and wealth has not taken away from her depth of character and morality. She sets an example for many other young girls to follow due to her intelligence, the attention she gives to her education and how much she uses her fame as a platform to be the voice of many who can’t speak for themselves.

I wish to be just like her! But not a copy. My own unique self with similar attributes and values! So considering my platform campaign of choice about women empowerment and gender equality, HeforShe movement seemed the most appropriate. It all came together and I am happy about my decision and the path that I’m taking. HeforShe calls for men and women alike and common individuals such as myself to step out of their comfort zone and take a step towards creating a world where men and women have equal rights. Like I have said before, any step towards progress is better than nothing at all. And change starts with an idea and it will have a ripple effect.

So that’s why I have proposed an idea to the York Region District School Board to include the addition of martial arts and self defense in the elementary school curriculum. I strongly believe that this will lower the chances of violence and assault against women aside from the fact that it has so many more benefits such as improving confidence, respect, self-discipline and physical/mental health of students. Not to mention, it will most definitely empower girls and women alike. Referring back to my earlier blog post about this topic and the steps that I have taken to make this dream come true, please click here to read about it.

York Region news segment about my proposal can be found here!

To update about the status of my proposal and the steps that I have already taken to inform relevant individuals about this idea is as follows. I have been in correspondence with Ms. Louise Sirisko, Director of Education after directing a formal letter of request to her as well as Ms. Corrie McBain, the Chair of York Region District School Board about my proposal. In her formal response Ms. Sirisko has directed my request to the Superintendent of Education, Curriculum and Instructional Services Heather Sears 2ho is taking the matter into consideration and whom I will soon hear back from…

Aside from that, I have written formal letters of explanation about my proposal and plans as Miss Teenage Newmarket to the former MP of Newmarket-Aurora, Mr. Chris Ballard (whom I already hold a certificate/letter from for Ontario Athletic Carding) as well as the Mayor of Newmarket, Mr. Tony Van Bynen. My efforts did not end there, I have directed the content and explanation of my proposal to the Liberal Party of Canada and specifically none other than Mrs. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the Prime Minister’s wife! She has been a long supporter and advocate of Women Empowerment as well as gender equality. She is also an exemplary role model to so many females such as myself! My efforts will resume and this is just the beginning!

As a part of advocating for my campaign platform as well as supporting the HeforShe movement, I have put in a lot of time and energy into going out into the public locations of my town, Newmarket, and handing out flyers which I have had made for myself as well as the ones that the HeforShe Team has provided me. I have also printed out a grand poster with my name, title and the “In Support of HeforShe” official logo. I also held a banner with the HeforShe logo and informed the passersby of my platform as well as the HeforShe movement. I handed out flyers in front of the Newmarket Community Centre & Lions Hall as well as the entry of Newmarket Public library.

There is an outdoor display of donated books right by Main Street where passersby can stop to relax, pickup a book and read in the refreshing outdoor space. I stood by the book shelves, held my “In Support of HeforShe” banner and handed out more flyers. The day was busy and crowded in Newmarket as the Newmarket summer Music Festival, Busker Festival as well as Newmarket 10 min play was happening all in a single day on July 28th. This is called being in the right place, at the right time. With proper planning of course! I took this chance to explain to anyone who asked questions about my platform as well as my title as Miss Teenage Canada official delegate for 2018. People were curious to know and find out how I achieved this title and what I was doing to promote my crown and sash, which is an honor to wear.

  

Last but definitely not least, I have promoted my platform as well as the HeforShe movement online by explaining to my followers and social media audience in two video speeches: One in English and the other in French. Speaking and reading french has always been one of my strengths which makes me multilingual, the other language being Persian which I mainly speak at home. With this particular translation I used the help of my good friend Noah, a fellow karate athlete for which I am grateful for. Speaking-wise, French comes to me naturally, I’ve always aced my french grades as school. I’m so glad I paid extra attention in class! And of course, I owe a great deal of my French knowledge to my exceptionally great French teacher from school. I adore this language, it sound very soothing to my ears.


The script of my speech in English written by yours truly can be read below:

“Hello, I’m Mahta – Miss Teenage Canada National Delegate for 2018.

I’m a proud supporter of “He for She” movement by United Nations Women as their purpose resonates with me also: Striving to reach a gender-equal world and empowering all women!

Now you may ask, why Women Empowerment?

I tell you this: As a karate athlete, I’ve witnessed the power and potential of women both inside and outside of the mats. Coaches and my Canadian teammates alike: they are a force to be reckoned with!

And some of them also happen to be moms, wives, students, and inspiring creative individuals!

I believe all girls should begin learning self-defence early on from elementary schools. So this way, by knowing how to defend themselves, it can lower the chances of women becoming victims of violence and assault by predators. We are strong! But we only need to be taught the proper technique!

I have taken the initial steps in making this dream a reality by proposing this idea to the York Region District School Board. Because a small step towards progress is better than nothing at all!

I INSIST: Knowing martial arts can most definitely empower women!

Every day, we are getting a step closer to a world where men and women have equal rights. It may take a long time, but eventually we will get there. Now I encourage everyone to join in this movement and stand behind the HeforShe campaign. Together, we are strong!” – Mahta


Below is the video of my speech in English, posted on all my social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram):


The following is the written script of my Speech in French:

“Bonjour tout le monde. Je m’appelle mahta. Deleguée de miss teenage Canada 2018.

Je suis fière supportrice du mouvement «HeForShe» des Femmes des Nations Unies car je crois en leur objectif: s’efforcer d’atteindre un monde ou homme et femme sont égaux et donner du pouvoir à toutes les femmes!

Vous vous demandez peut être: pourquoi le pouvoir aux femmes?

Je vous le dis: en tant qu’athlète de karaté , j’ai été témoin de la puissance et du potentiel des femmes à la fois sur le tatami et en dehors. Les entraîneuses et mes coéquipières canadiennes sont une force à prendre en compte! Et certaines d’entre elles se trouvent être aussi des mères, des femmes, des étudiantes et des personnes créatives et source d’inspiration!

Je crois que les filles devraient commencer à apprendre l’autodéfense dès l’école primaire. Ainsi , savoir comment se défendre diminuera les chances que les femmes soient victimes de violence et attaques de prédateurs. Nous sommes fortes! Nous avons seulement besoin qu’on nous enseigne les bonnes techniques.

J’ai commencé la première étape pour transformer ce rêve en réalité en présentant cette idée au conseil scolaire de la région de York. Car chaque petit pas vers le progrès vaut mieux que rien du tout!

J’insiste: connaître les arts martiaux peut absolument donner du pouvoir aux femmes!

On se rapproche un peu plus chaque jour d’un monde où les hommes et les femmes ont les mêmes droits. Cela prendra peut-être longtemps mais un jour on y arrivera. Maintenant je vous encourage tous à joindre ce mouvement et soutenir la campagne HeForShe. Ensemble, nous sommes forts!” – Mahta


Below is the video of my speech in French, posted on all my social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram):

Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

By yours truly,

Mahta – Miss Teenage Newmarket 2018

Written by: Mahta Tagged with:
Leave a comment

I love fashion. I love dressing up. And I absolutely love and enjoy photoshoots. As my readers have been following up with my photoshoot series, they may remember that the photo studio I go to, also happens to be my first sponsor, Nazbanoo Photo Studios. All of these photos are unfiltered/untouched. I’m happy with the high quality and great standard service they provide. I’m looking forward to going there again for my next series of Photoshoots. Next time: action photos.

For this photoshoot, I chose to mix and match calm and bright colours. I love my off the shoulder light blue top, floral scarf that has the same print as my one-shoulders strap small handbag, matching velvet pointed heels and belt, skinny white jeans and my most favourite asset, the earphone which gives my look an overall chic and youthful appearance. I believe that if you choose to be fashionable, what colour you choose to wear in your daily outfit is not a big issue, so long as you know how to harmonize the colours and mix-and-match your outfit properly.

This outfit is most appropriate for a summer outing with family and friends, both outdoor and indoor parties such as birthdays and even on more casual occasions so long as you replace the heels with more comfortable shoes such as sandals or sneakers. As for the makeup, only choosing to wear it lightly and perhaps with a bubblegum or cherry lipstick and lip gloss is great enough.

I personally choose to have long and healthy lashes instead of any fake ones. When I was younger, my eye lashes grew to be so long and full that I would be complimented on them by friends or even strangers. I actually had one or two friends who had a close look at them to examine and make sure they’re mine. I found it hilarious. We had a good laugh about it. As I’m growing older, they tend to fall out more, so I make sure to apply caster oil on them every once-in-a-while (before bed) to help with my eyelash growth. A cool fact is, actress Elizabeth Taylor had two rows of eye lashes, which was caused by a rare genetic mutation. Coincidentally, my family has noticed that I do too. I think it’s cool. It makes my lashes appear fuller and ticker than usual.

Last but not least, always remember to have a good posture, not only for photoshoots but also in your day-to-day life. What you do daily will turn into a habit. By standing straight, with your shoulders back and head held high, you will show confidence to people, and naturally others will treat you more as a person with great self-esteem. Always smile and have good hygene! That’s important! Also, always remember, a great smile is everything! So always brush your teeth and tend to their overall appearance to give your best, most confident and warm smile. Remain positive, live, laugh, love.

Please enjoy the video I made of my top selected photos for this photoshoot:

By yours truly,

Mahta – Miss Teenage Newmarket 2018

Written by: Mahta Tagged with:,
Leave a comment

On Sunday, July 15th, I competed in Toronto Open Tournament at Markham Pan Am Centre and captured the Gold medal in kumite. This event was sanctioned by the Ontario Karate Federation and in some of the older age groups, cash prizes were awarded to each division winners. This is the second year that I’m competing in this particular competition. Last year I competed in both kata and kumite and captured Gold in kumite and Bronze in kata.

On tournament days, I usually wake about very early in the morning as my age division (cadet 14-15) begins early. Normally, I lose my appetite during competition days, however I try to gain energy by drinking calorie-packed smoothies, dates and bananas. And of course, lots of water before and after each match. I usually get my mind ready by warming up and practicing my technique. Getting up and active takes my mind away from the nerves of the upcoming match. I sometimes also listen to upbeat music on my headphone. This helps to get me energized as well.

As this tournament in an Open event, it’s open to other provinces and even countries to register their athletes. So every year, there are other athletes that compete on behalf of their respective countries as well as other provinces (usually from Quebec). Some of the best Canadian karate athletes that are in the Senior and Junior national team reside in Ontario, so we see lots of familiar and well-known faces at the even every time. Some senior athletes also happen to be among the best in the world and top-ranking in their categories. We will soon see them in the Olympics for Tokyo2020 hopefully.

Overall, it was a great experience as always. The trainings leading up to the event were intense like before. There are no easy days. I competed with blisters on my feet like before, but by now I’m used to it. Even after the tournament, our summer trainings are getting especially harder and I there are more days that we spend at the dojo than usual. I’ve started training for a new category, group kata as well. My group is very strong so we have our eyes set on making it past the provincials, then becoming national champions. And hopefully after that, we are thinking ahead and we have our eyes set on international events. It’s always good to plan ahead and be optimistic. Right now, the skin on my left two has completed peeled off and it’s making it difficult for me to walk normally, nevertheless wear heels. But I do it anyway, because this is the life I’m used to and I chose for myself. The hard days are what makes a champion anyway, so I’m in for the difficult times as well as the victories.

Friends, always remember, success is not easily attained. The end result is what people see, but what they may not know are the pain, sweats, injuries, tears, extra hours you spend in the gym/dojo, the fun activities you cut from, the mental and emotional stress that you go through and lots of other compromises that you make, financially and physically. The athletes that reach the Olympics have dedicated their entire lives to their sport! They deserve all the respect they can get from their country. I certainly hope that one day, with continued hard effort, dedication and great results I would be able to reach the Olympics too. I’m still too young for Tokyo2020 due to age restrictions for katate but if I continue to work hard and progress I may be able to in future like 2024 or 2028. Future is bright.

Please enjoy the video I made for the Toronto Open below:

By yours truly,

Mahta – Miss Teenage Newmarket 2018

Written by: Mahta Tagged with:,
Leave a comment

With the Chair of Culture Bridge Initiatives – Ms. Emina Barjic

On Saturday, July 14th,  I have had the honor of attending the 2018 Culture Bridge Festival as a guest speaker at Newmarket Riverwalk Commons, where diversity was celebrated! I have been invited to join as a guest among other important public figures of Newmarket and surrounding towns/cities to take part in the opening ceremony parade as well as on-stage greeting for the general public who were in audience.

With the Program and Festival Director Mrs. Leila Singh and CEO of Culture Beidge Initiatives, Mr. Ranji Singh.

The celebrations took place over a period of two days, with day one being called “Sounds of India” which celebrated Indian Culture along with Opening Ceremony and day 2 being named “World Cultures” in which as the name suggests World Cultures were gathered to contribute to the festivities! On both occasions, everyone had absolutely a wonderful, fun time filled with laughter, great music and lots of dancing!

Once again, as the name suggests, the first day was mainly focused on the vibrant Indian culturewhich I absolutely adorewith Bollywood style dances, singers, magician, guest speakers and etc. It was so much fun to the least. Second day, Canada’s multiculturalism was showcased in the best possible way with lots of musical as well as dance performance demonstrations on stage. It was very interactive and joyous.

The York Regional Police were very gracious and kind!

Even the pouring thunderstorm on the first day did not dampen people’s spirits as everyone briefly took shelter under canopies and extended umbrellas while it rain showered all the seats. Not many know, but I got soaked while rushing backstage after getting off the car. The opening ceremony was about to begin soon after. It was something we laughed about later. At least my makeup stayed in place and my hair remained neat in place.

Had the honor of meeting the Deputy Mayor of Newmarket – Mr. John Taylor

Among the many important and notable guest speakers, I’ve had the absolute pleasure of speaking to important political figures and boards of directors, such as Deputy Mayor of Newmarket Mr. John Taylor, MP of Newmarket-Aurora Mr. Kyle Peterson, CEO, Chair of Board of Directors and event organizers of Cultural Bridge Initiatives, President of National Congress of Italian Canadians, Councillor – Ward 1 of Newmarket, and many others.

With the Councillor – Ward 1 of Newmarket, Mr. Tom Vegh

These gentlemen and gracious ladies were inspirational to meet and very humble! I felt incredibly lucky to walk among them and have the chance to get to meet thhem and converse with them. I am still in awe at their support and how friendly they were regardless of the fact that I was the youngest to be walking among them. I was truly humbled.

With the MP of Newmarket-Aurora – Mr. Kyle Peterson

The event organizers, CEO of Culture Bridge Initiatives (Mr. Ranji Singh), Chair of Culture Bridge (Ms. Emina Barjic) as well as Program and Festival Director (Mrs. Leila Singh) were absolutely welcoming, warm and lovely people! I appreciate this opportunity that they have given to me and for them to have considered inviting me after becoming familiar with my name and title since Canada day, when I had met with them in the celebrations of Main Street in Newmarket.

I myself absolutely love learning about different cultures and traditions. I especially enjoyed and love the Indian cultural dances, music, food and people! They were truly lovely to speak to! The speech I gave to the crowd while standing on stage, among the respectable guest speakers, was focused on the topic of discussion, which was importance of multiculturalism. I appreciate the time and attention given to me to express my gratitude for Canada’s cultural diversity as well as a brief introduction about myself. I was featured in the photos taken by local news, Snapd Newmarket photos as well as on Urdu TV the next day.


You can watch my full speech about this topic in this video. Click here!

Hello, I’m Mahta, Miss Teenage Canada National Delegate for 2018.

14 years ago, my parents immigrated to Canada… That same year, I was born a few months after! And here I am today, 14 years late. I can proudly and humbly say, last year as a member of Junior National Team of Karate Canada, I earned the title “Vice World Champion” in Croatia and marked my success in Junior Pan Ams in Argentina.

I’m a prime example of what each and every of us as, coming from diverse cultural backgrounds, are capable of. We are colourful, proud, ambitious, hard-working and distinctly different. However, “WE ARE ONE, we ARE Canadian.”

Canada is the land of opportunities for everyone, especially the young generation like me! We set an example for all other countries to follow, due our tolerance and inclusiveness. Diversity is our strength!

No matter where you are from, what language you speak, what spices you put in your food and what colour is your skin. “WE ARE ONE, we ARE Canadian!”

With the Canadian sky as the dome over our head, with the maple leaf imprinted on our chests and with our over-politeness and respect, we can proudly say, “WE ARE ONE, we ARE Canadian!”

Thank you!

Photo of me while giving my speech about Cultural Diversity. By: Snapd Newmarket


Donating 2 1/2 bags of food donations to the Newmarket Food Pantry, Food Drive for the less fortunate locals.

I hope everybody enjoys this video I made below and my speech where I introduce myself and speak about importance of multiculturalism as well as a summary of all the festivities that I had the pleasure to be a part of. I also contributed to the Food Drive for those in need of support in our community gathered by the Newmarket Food Pantry. All the food donations go to the less fortunate locals. I made sure to post about this cause on Instagram and Facebook by using the trending hashtag #onebagchallenge which encourages everyone to join in this group effort for gathering food donations.

“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.” – Mahatma Gandhi

By yours truly,

Mahta – Miss Teenage Newmarket 2018

Written by: Mahta Tagged with:
Leave a comment

For a very long time, I have put in a lot of effort for making this dream a reality. Now that everything is finalized and all the steps of the interviews are over, today I can proudly say that I have attained the title as Youth Ambassador. Being a 360°Kids Youth Ambassador was not easy to earn, but more so, it’s not easy to fulfill. It comes with a great responsibility. I’m so honored and happy to be selected among the few teens who are trusted with and given this chance to be real change-makers within our greater community of York Region.

At the 360°Kids Headquarters after my last interview.

At 360°Kids, program organizers and youth leaders make sure to help the homeless as well as youth who are in state of crisis, transition to safety and stability, given the right environment and people that help them receive a fair chance at life. Every youth deserves to succeed, if given fair opportunities. Not everyone comes from the same circumstances and backgrounds. But how anyone starts in life should not determine what the future holds in store for them! Tomorrow is another day and the perfect day to begin a new life! As their popular hashtag would say, #everykidmatters!

I believe that a good leader instructs others for what to do. However, a better leader carries on the weight of a group and works as a team. A great leader listens to the ideas and issues of others, and makes sure to solve problems in action and not just by words. Youth Ambassadors are such example. I’m so happy to be able to put my passion in helping the youth, most especially girls into a great cause! This not only allows those we’re helping become better versions of themselves but also it does the same for me and other youth.

I truly appreciate the Program staff and organizers for giving me this opportunity, trusting in my ability and everything they do day and night to create a tangible impact on many lives! We should all strive to care and have compassion as they do.

From now until September 2019 I will be dedicating a great portion of my time and effort into aiding the team of ambassadors into completing tasks at hand, such as giving presentations in my school, classroom and community, writing quarterly newsletters to staff, volunteers, boards members and parents, participating in fundraisers on the behalf of this program, attending all workshops, meetings, events and etc. It will be a very busy rest of summer and year indeed! I’m looking forward to this new experience.

“In an effort to engage youth in their community, the Youth Ambassador Program will allow student participants across York Region to engage in programs and activities benefiting 360°kids. Through participation in the program, youth will develop leadership skills and become more engaged in their school and communities. By engaging youth with 360°kids, we are able to bring new ideas and a fresh perspective into our goals and future projects.” – 360°Kids Youth Ambassador Program


A comment by the Chief Executive Officer of Operation Smile Canada in support of my involvement in Youth Ambassadorship Program.

This is a great opportunity for me to improve my leadership skills, become more engaged in my school as well as my own community and the greater York Region area, build skills sets in public speaking, communication, interpersonal and social interaction as well as be more involved in helping others and giving back to my community, with a special attention to the homeless and troubled youth and troubling matters such as human trafficking and raising awareness for such issues that exist in the world and even in Canada. I will be gaining experience and knowledge on community issues and issues facing the homeless and at risk youth.

A supportive message from my friend Susy who is a talented karate athlete.

As my platform focuses on gender equality and women empowerment, one of the ways I’m taking on the challenges that women face such as violence and assault against women is making this idea turn into reality to incorporate martial arts and teaching self-defence in health and gym classes of elementary/secondary schools, for which I have already proposed it to the York Region District School Board and have been in correspondence with the Board Directors ever since. Things are still in progress, but for sure proceeding as expected. I’m happy about this. Hopefully really soon, we will be able to see the outcome of my efforts as well as the team of Board Members who bring everything into fruition and completion, come to reality.

What I said last year, I’m still saying today! The best advice I can give anybody, including myself!

You may ask how this applies to 360°Kids Youth Ambassador Program? Well ideas are always welcome. I strongly believe, by incorporating martial arts into the school curriculum, at risk youth and generally teenagers who experience feelings of self-doubt, fear, lack of confidence or hope will be able to gain back their passion and energy for life by learning martial arts. It empowers everyone and not just female students. But, it also protects them if they face domestic violence and physical bullying. It helps them gain back their confidence and enthusiasm for life. I’m in favour of this change in the school system and I am positive the effects of it will be far better than expected. More great news about this will be posted soon, so please always feel free to come back and visit my blogs for updates. Always a pleasure writing for my avid readers and supporters.

By yours truly,

Mahta – Miss Teenage Newmarket 2018

Written by: Mahta Tagged with:
Leave a comment

Whew! What an incredibly busy week it’s been. The fact is, next week my schedule will be much more eventful. It’s time to buckle down and get things done! The Toronto Open Tournament is coming up so I’m training my absolute best for that. It is an international tournament as it is an “Open” event. Last year I captured the Gold in kumite and Bronze in Kata. So looking forward to that. Festivals, parades, platform activities, interviews… All within a week. I’m sure by the end of next week I will turn into a jelly. But I’m thankful! This means that I am actually blessed with so many opportunities. I know I’m lucky!

So to keep my readers fresh and today’s blog light and uplifting, I have decided to share my third photoshoot series which is actually one of my favourites. This one in particular, I’m in a beautiful black cocktail dress, sash and crown. I loved the camera angles my photographer decided to use. I have more closeups in this series than the rest. And my face pops out more due to the contrasting outfit as well as the unique smoky background.

Again, as my first official sponsor of this pageant, Nazbanoo Photo Studio has done an amazing job in bringing out my best features and making me feel comfortable, poised and confident in front of the camera. As I said before, photography is an art which one needs to master in order to leave the best impression on the client and viewers. And I’m impressed!

I myself enjoy photography a lot, but I am most certainly not a professional. I usually capture great nature photos with my smartphone, whenever and wherever I get that chance. Not to brag, but I do have a good eye for photography. So does my sister. Maybe it runs in the family. Now that I mentioned it, I will most definitely share some of my photos in later blogs. Trust me, they’re awesome. I mean some of those pictures turned out to be so high quality and beautiful that it literally takes my breath away, I don’t know about you, but I will most definitely share.

Now back to my photoshoot. Well, the crown! It was an issue in the beginning. It used to slip off of my head. I remember precisely the moment I was crowned at the Ontario Second Qualifier event. The crown almost fell off my head! Of course everyone laughed, but not in a taunting way. Because I laughed too! It was a joyous moment of triumph for me and I was enjoying my time standing on that stage with my friends. I will never forget. Well we have found a solution for the not so huge problem. A lot of bobby pins! I guess it wasn’t such a great issue. Also my hair texture is a bit silky to be fair, so no wonder! No! My head is absolutely not small, and it’s not the equivalent of the Red Queen’s head either!

Overall, the whole experience is great. It’s like a breath of fresh air to be able to dress up, put on makeup, put down my hair, wear high heels and pose! I’m so used to wearing my hair up in a tight bun, no makeup face, karate gi and sparring gear that this feels like I’m almost living a parallel life. But both sides of my personality I embrace. A girl can be confident, powerful, glammed up and feminine all at once. The are no rules to how one wishes to represent themselves. I encourage all other girls to think and act the same way!

Until next time, please enjoy this video and I’ll catch up with you all soon!

By yours truly,

Mahta – Miss Teen Newmarket 2018

Written by: Mahta Tagged with:,
Leave a comment

Living an athletic life is not easy. There are many compromises and sacrifices to be made and it takes a great portion of any elite athlete’s time if they decide to train professionally. But in my day to day life, I have learned to manage all the hard aspects with a little bit of fun which involves working out on my own, preparing and eating healthy meals/drinks, as well as going out in nature to recharge my energy.

In my previous personal blog post I introduced Karate and outlined some facts about my professional trainings. In this blog however, which is also a vlog, I will be sketching a picture of how my personal lifestyle looks like. I wish to inspire other youth, most especially girls to take notes and do the same. It works for me, so why not you? By making these few small changes in your day to day eating habits, you will quickly start seeing and feeling the benefits of healthy eating and a diet full of fruits and vegetables. I am not a vegetarian, with respect to those who are, but I try to incorporate a healthy balance of meats and greens.


Day 1 Mahta’s Daily Routine

In the video I’m sharing below, you can see that on Day 1 of my daily routine I have decided to show you my favourite smoothie blend, which I usually make in the mornings, pre-workout and consists of the following.

Smoothy Ingredients:

  • Kale
  • Chia Seeds
  • Strawberries
  • Honey
  • Banana
  • Dates
  • Blueberries
  • Almond Milk
  • Pineapples (Optional)
  • Your Protein Powder of choice (Optional)

Go ahead and mix all the ingredients into a blender in the order outlined in here! I came up with this blend due to the nutritional values of each ingredient used, but any change is entirely up to you, there’s no particular guidebook and I generally don’t wish to follow rules for these things. It completely depends on you preferences, personal taste and food reactions. But you should know, all sorts of berries, especially blueberries as well as kale are loaded with anti-oxidants that have detoxifying effects in the body not to mention great for the skin too!

I should also note, I encourage everyone to use honey in place of sugar (brown sugar is okay too). That is because natural/raw honey is nature’s gift to us. It has antibiotic properties that helps the immune system fight off infections. And chia seeds? Don’t get me started on these. Three words: Anti-Oxidants, Omega-3 Fatty Acids (great for brain function) and Protein (building blocks of muscles). You can’t have too much of any of these contents in your body. No wonder it’s a super-food!

Make sure to pour in almond milk first, and honey last. A cup of milk but preferably almond milk would do. Two teaspoons of honey would give you the perfect mixture. Make sure you moisten chia seeds 5 min in water before pouring 1.5 teaspoons in the blend. You can also add your protein powder of choice to this smoothie, but I decided not to. I usually choose between chia seeds and protein mixture to avoid an overly heavy blend. Once blended and done, go ahead and enjoy the drink! You are now energized and ready to start your workout routine as I’ve done below (watch here).


Are you a fan of Greek Yogurt with Fruit? Well I am! That’s why I decided to share my favourite recipe that you also make on the go or for breakfast as bonus. Some days I decide to have oatmeal, other days, this yogurt blend that you can watch here! I call it, “Mahta’s Yogurt Berry Blend” and it’s super nutritious, tasty, as well as easy to make!

As the name suggest, it’s a mixture of Greek yogurt, blueberries, strawberries and pineapple slices (optional). You can decorate the final mixture in the bowl with oats, more blueberries and strawberry slices. I’m getting hungry just writing about it. Go ahead, give it a try and you can come back and leave a comment if you wish. Always welcome feedback.


Last but surely not least, I am including some of my daily at-home pre-workout, workout and cool down sessions. Before any workout, it’s very important to stretch and warm up your body to get  blood flowing into your muscles, otherwise you will only increase the chance of cramps and a failed workout. It’s definitely not recommended. As for me, since I use my legs a lot in karate, I mainly focus on improving the flexibility in my legs to better be able to kick as high as I can manage. Watch here!

I then go onto focusing on my arms using dumbbells. I also use ankle weights. Working out you core muscles and the abs are also important as a kata athlete. It helps with maintaining balance and stability. Then it’s time to put on my gloves and footwear to practice some kicks and punches on the bob dummy. He hasn’t seen a single day without getting beaten, but for a good purpose of course! Lastly, always make sure to cool down!


Day 2 – Mahta’s Daily Routine

Now onto Day 2 of my daily routine. In this section, I am sharing with you a different breakfast preparation which I’m sure is more common but just as nutritious as the previous one. Watch it here!

Ingredients:

  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Green Peppers
  • Goat/Cottage Cheese
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Plate of Fruits (per choice)
  • Sliced Cucumbers
  • Whole Wheat bread Toast
  • Lettuce Stem

Slice and set all the ingredients onto a place and enjoy your healthy and protein-rich breakfast. I usually pour a bit of olive oil (healthy unsaturated fats) and sprinkle some Himalayan salt on my tomato slices. It’s an absolutely delicious combination and very beneficial for your health. Himalayan salt in particular has many health benefits such as balancing blood sugar, pH levels and mineral status level. Also it helps keep the body hydrated and getting rid of toxins. These are just a few benefits, the list goes on!


Today’s workout sessions is much more fun and enjoyable. I decided to ride my bike around the neighborhood in the near-by park as well as forest close to my home. The weather was spectacular, 23°C with a perfect, slight breeze. Watch it here! Going out into nature is very important as this helps to increase your overall vibration and gather all the good energies given off by the trees, flowers, wind, sunlight and mother Earth. My family loves to walk to the forest routinely and we love to picnic in park often. I also enjoy playing soccer and badminton with my sister too.


During the day, we usually drink tea together as a family. It’s our family tradition and we never miss a day going without tea. But over the years, we’ve learned that all tea are not equally beneficial for health and some provide long-term health benefits more than other, such as green tea, ginger tea, and turmeric tea latte.

For today’s blog post, I decided to make my favourite, ginger lemon tea. The recipe is simple but powerful. Watch it here! Slice ginger and lemon, pour boiling water over them in a tea pot and add 2 teaspoons of honey. I also added a green tea tea-bag which you can do also. It’s up to you. All these ingredients are super-beneficial. Green tea has powerful anti-oxidant and anti-cancer agents. Ginger contains gingerol which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is also great for soothing the stomach and solving gastronomic issues. This drink works as a remedy for flu and colds. It specially helps soothe the throat if you’re having cough or sinus issues.

Finally, we come down to a fun bonus drink I added to the video. It may not be as nutritious as other recipes I shared but very delicious indeed: the typical hot chocolate latte with cinnamon. I love the warm-comforting effect of cocoa on my taste buds. It always makes me happy. Simple but effective. Watch it here. I always drink my hot chocolate in a special cup which has the words “Always wear a crown” on the front. Suitable, eh? I have a matching small plate which says “Queen of Everything” on it. As you can see in this video.

 

And the book that I’m currently reading in case you’re wondering from watching the video? “The Alchemist.” This book should be on everyone’s reading list. Highly recommend it. Very motivational and life-changing indeed.


As an added BONUS, I’m going to give you guys the ultimate recipe to a not so “secret” drink, but one that not many people know about. It originates from India and it has many medical benefits, not to mention very tasty to say the least.

Turmeric Tea Latte / Golden Milk Recipe:

Pour 1 cup unsweetened almond milk/coconut milk into a saucepan, add 1/4 tsp ground turmeric, 1/4 tsp ground ginger (or 1 tsp fresh grated ginger), 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, pinch of black pepper and ground nutmeg (optional) to the mixture. Bring it to steaming, just below simmer. Stick with a whisk until blended well. Pour into a cup, let it cool a bit, serve and enjoy!


Now enjoy the video below and make sure to write down any ideas you liked. You can always do the same and also add your own unique recipes to the list.

By yours truly,

Mahta – Miss Teen Newmarket 2018

Written by: Mahta Tagged with:,
Leave a comment