Karate kids are striking gold

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YOUNGSTERS at a karate club in South Tyneside have been warming up for the martial art’s national championships with a medal-winning blitz

Members of the Dokan Shotokan Karate Club, which trains at East Boldon Methodist Church and holds after-school sessions at the village’s primary school, returned from competitions in Teesside with 33 gold prizes, 38 silvers and 47 bronzes.

The competitions, Taisho-do in Stockton and the Hartlepool Wadokai Championships, came hot on the heels of the club’s success at the English kyu grade nationals and sets them up for the English national championships in Sheffield later this month.

The club’s instructor, Kevan Michinson, of East Boldon, said: “I was really impressed by the way the squad performed at both events.

“Both tournaments, being relatively local and having some nice low-grade categories, meant that our junior grades could compete alongside those from the club’s regular competition squad. We are now gearing up for the English national championships on Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21.

“Obviously, this is a much tougher competition and only open to the higher-grade students, but we have some great performers at all levels.”

Dokan won the cup for most successful club at Hartlepool, beating challenges from clubs from Halifax, Barnsley, Derbyshire, Hull, Cumbria and Scotland.

A newcomer who did particularly well on her first outings was Ruby Robertson, of Whitburn.

The seven-year-old won the under-nines’ class for seventh kyu and below at Taisho-Do and came second at Hartlepool.

Lola Cassidy, of East Boldon, shone through at both competitions, winning kata, pairs kata and kumite fighting classes at Taisho-Do and winning the kata and coming second in kumite at Hartlepool.

For more information, call Kevan on 0793 913 0411 or e-mail k-mitch@live.co.uk.

For training session information, visit www.dokan.co.uk

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