Rebecca gives karate kids a fundraising kick

Youngsters from South Tyneside who are training to take part in an international karate competition put on a show for a lady who gave them a fundraising boost.
Dokan Karate Club's chief coach Kevan Michinson.Dokan Karate Club's chief coach Kevan Michinson.
Dokan Karate Club's chief coach Kevan Michinson.

When Rebecca Elsy, from Harton Village, South Shields, heard that the Dokan Karate Club was taking 15 competitors to Livorno in Italy to take part in the European Championships later this year, she gave the club a £100 donation towards the cost of the trip.

The club invited Mrs Elsy to one of their training sessions in Whitburn and staged a karate display for her as a thank you.

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Mrs Elsy, who is 98 and was awarded an MBE for over 50 years of voluntary work with South Shields Citizens Advice, met with the youngsters – and gave them another £100 towards the trip.

Rebecca Elsy with members of the Dokan Karate clubRebecca Elsy with members of the Dokan Karate club
Rebecca Elsy with members of the Dokan Karate club

The Dokan Karate Association runs classes in South Tyneside and Sunderland.

Chief instructor, Kevan Mitchinson, said: “Mrs Elsy read a report in the Gazette about the club and felt we were doing sterling work with the youngsters.

"Her daughter, Janet, got in touch and asked to make a donation towards the Italy trip in November and we invited her along to see the youngsters do a training session and to meet with them."

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He added: “Mrs Elsy took part in sport in her youth, playing tennis, lacrosse and cricket. When she was 14, she won the Junior Tennis Open Championships in Yorkshire and she went on to play lawn bowls until the age of 95.

"What a fantastic role model she is and it was great for our students to meet her.

“We are also very grateful for her donation and really appreciate her interest. It’s nice when someone unconnected to the club recognises what you do.”

The 15 Dokan students have been selected to represent the WUKF association in Italy from November 3 to November 6.

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First though, they have planned three warm up competitions as well as their regular grading sessions to help them prepare.

The club offers training seven days a week and specialise in tournament karate.

For more details, call 01939130411, email [email protected] or goi to