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Martial Arts Mastery: BASIS San Antonio Shavano Director Wins Big at International Tournaments

Nelly Rovira, Director of the Upper School Program at BASIS San Antonio Shavano, has been busy making a name for herself in the world of martial arts.

Rovira has been with BASIS Ed Texas for over 10 years—since the opening of our very first BASIS Texas Charter School in 2013! Over the years, she’s served as a PE teacher, a Spanish teacher, a Martial Arts coach, and a Dean of Students. Now, she oversees student affairs for BASIS San Antonio Shavno’s high school grades.

When we asked Rovira what she likes best about working at BASIS Texas Charter Schools, she said, “It’s the students. Without a doubt. They are such great people and work so hard to accomplish their goals. Their relentless spirit keeps me on my toes and young at heart.”

Although Rovira doesn’t teach martial arts at BASIS anymore, she still practices avidly and participates in national and international events. Recently, Rovira was inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame Class of 2023 as Female Competitor of the Year.

“What an incredible and impressive honor!” said Patti Bezanson, CEO of BASIS Ed Texas. “This is such a unique accolade. It’s different from anything I have seen in my years at BASIS, and from what I hear, very well-deserved. Congratulations to Nelly!”

Such honors don’t come easy. “Outside of work, I spend a lot of my time training for competitive-level kungfu and tai chi,” says Rovira. “I also teach weekend classes at my dojo.”

Rovira was selected to represent the United States at the 4th Pan American Kungfu Championships, which were held in Ontario, Canada in August 2023. Overall, more than 700 athletes competed in this tournament, representing 35 different countries. Rovira participated in five events and won in all five—bringing home three gold medals, one silver medal, and one bronze medal for the United States.

Rovira has brought her martial arts prowess overseas, too. Shortly after competing in the Pan American tournament, Rovira traveled to Emeishan City, China to compete in the 9th World Kungfu Championships. Hosted every two years, this tournament brings together thousands of competitors from across the world.

Nelly Rovira holding a tai chi pose in front of a Chinese temple

“I love traveling and learning about Asian countries,” Rovira says, “so this was a great experience to be a part of.”

Each competitor can participate in two events at the World Kungfu Championships. In one event, Rovira brought home the bronze medal. In her other event, she placed fourth (but her score was only .01 decimals away from third place!).

“Over the next two years, my plan is to practice, practice, practice,” Rovira says.

Please join us in congratulating Ms. Rovira on her recent wins! Her dedication and skill are something to behold—and she is an amazing example of hard work paying off. On behalf of everyone at BASIS Ed—congratulations!

We love celebrating all the amazing things that our teachers, staff, and students are accomplishing! To read more news from BASIS Texas Charter Schools, click here.

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