INTERNATIONAL opposition got the chop when members of a karate club represented their country at a major international tournament.
Seventeen youngsters from Boldon’s Dokan Gudo Nishijima Karate Club were selected to represent England at the World Shotokan Karate Unions Championships, in Kosovo – and 12 of them came home as world champions.
Sadie Stoner, Holly Stoner and Eve Palmer won individual golds in kata (set movements).
Holly also won at kumite (fighting), as did Lola Cassidy, Eleisha Mitchinson and Simone Stewart.
Six others – Hannah Nicholson, Alex Steadman, Tammy Proctor, Grace King, Katie Hunnam and Megan Purvis – were also crowned champions in team competitions. The club has more than 150 youngsters training in Boldon, Whitburn and Sunderland.
Chief instructor Kevan Mitchinson said: “The results say it all. These youngsters are between nine and 14 years old and have won just about everything there is to win at home.
“They gave their all in Kosovo and got the results from all their hard work in training.” He added: “In addition, they fought courageously, behaved with dignity in defeat, and represented their country immaculately, not just in the number of victories but in the manner they conducted themselves and the sportsmanship they showed throughout the event.
“Both were complimented by referees, coaches, officials and the president of Kosovo Karate. Everyone should be proud of them.” Officials were so impressed with the youngsters that they were even asked to put on a display for Kosovo’s minister of sport and other dignitaries.
He added: “The whole thing was a great experience for them. The place was buzzing. There were good crowds, television cameras, and the atmosphere was electric. Parts of it were rather surreal. A local English teacher brought his class of about 30 kids – complete with their Union Jacks – to watch and they were kissing and swamping the squad like adoring fans. I looked at the parents and there was hardly a dry eye to be seen.
“What an experience and what a privilege.”
l For information on club activities, go to www.dokan.co.uk or call Mr Mitchinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 07939 130411.