Karate kid Lola gets a kick out of medal haul

BIG HIT ... double gold medal winner Lola Cassidy.
BIG HIT ... double gold medal winner Lola Cassidy.

KARATE kid Lola Cassidy was a big hit at her first national championships.

The eight-year-old, from the Dokan Karate Club in Boldon, won two gold and two bronze medals at the English National kyu grade championship in Sheffield.

Lola, of Front Street, East Boldon, won gold in the individual kumati (freestyle fighting) and kata (formal exercise) disciplines.

She also picked up bronze medals in the team events.

Dokan Karate Club chief instructor, Kevan Mitchinson, said: “The entire team did well. We took 15 students to Sheffield and came back with six gold, five silver and 10 bronze medals.

“Lola did particularly well. Normally a student will excel at one or other of the karate disciplines.

“To win at both is an exceptional achievement.”

Lola, a pupil at East Boldon Junior School, won her titles in the under-nine age group.

A green belt, she started karate 17 months ago and trains between six and nine hours a week.

She said: “I’ve won things before but these were my first national golds.”

Mr Mitchinson said: “There were more than 800 youngsters between the ages of seven and 14 entered in the various categories.

“Twenty-one medals is an impressive haul in such a high profile tournament.”

The club recently donated £650 raised from a charity competition to St Benedict’s Hospice, in Monkwearmouth.

In total, £1,400 was raised from the event at Castle View Centre, Sunderland, last month.

As well as the donation to St Benedict’s, £250 also went to Macmillan Nurses, with the remainder to other local charities.

The Dokan Karate Club has more than 150 youngsters training in Boldon, Whitburn and Sunderland.

It is planning to organise a competition in December to help children’s charities.

For details about the club and training times, call Mr Mitchinson on 0793 913 0411 or go to www.dokan.co.uk

Twitter: @shieldsgaz