Karate kids are a hit at national competition
The Dokan Karate Association, which runs classes in Sunderland and South Tyneside, took 36 competitors to the GB Open tournament in Wolverhampton – returning home with eight gold, 12 silver and 16 bronze medals – and finishing fourth in the medal table.
The club had three double gold winning students on the day – Eleisha Mitchinson, who also won two silver and one bronze medal, nine-year-old Ewan Baxter and six-year-old Josh Parkin.
Dokan chief instructor, Kevan Mitchinson, said: “This was a major competition with over 1,100 entries from 42 clubs.
"Overall I thought it was a great experience and all the youngsters and I am proud of how they conducted themselves, their sportsmanship, determination and skills.”
He added: “This is a relatively new squad who trained really hard to prepare and got what they deserved because of that.”
Dokan entered 36 students and – combined with DKA Kawauso which is an association club from Ryhope Sunderland – entered 38 youngsters in total.
Mr Mitchinson added: “We finished the day fourth on the medal table but, if we had entered as an association like the top clubs, we would have been second.
"Competitions, especially one which are this big, can be stressful affairs and this relatively inexperienced squad has discovered not everything goes to plan.
"They have also found out that a few lows make the highs better.”
In April, Dokan took 33 competitors to the English Karate Academy Tournament in Warrington and returned with 17 gold, 21 silver, and 28 bronze medals from both individual and team competitions.
The club's competition squad are now starting to prepare for the European Championships in Italy later this year.
The Dokan Karate Association runs classes – for all age groups and levels – at Whitburn Parish Hall, All Saints Church, Cleadon and Redhouse Community Centre, in Sunderland.
The club, which was established in 2009, practices traditional Shotokan Karate and regularly sends teams to competes at events all over the country.
For more information, go to www.dokan.co.uk or call 07939130411