SUNDERLAND’S karate kids swept the board with nine medals at the British Championships.
The Sendai Kushiro Karate team, based at training centres throughout Sunderland and East Durham, came away with a bumper haul from the 47th annual championships at the National Indoor Arena, in Birmingham.
Holly Sterling was the big success story after the 25-year-old took gold medals in the ladies kata and kumite disciplines for the second successive year – becoming the first woman to achieve the double twice in the history of the championships.
Sterling, who lifted the kata title for the sixth successive year, was named the outstanding senior competitor of the day, while Ryan Spencer, 15, took the accolade in the junior section for the second time in a row.
Spencer won gold in the boys kumite, 12-15 years, over 5ft 5in category, while he also took silver alongside Bethaney Miller, 14, and Joshua Campbell, 15, in the children’s team kata.
Other gold medalists included Beth Nicholson, 16, who won the female junior 16-20 years, while Matthew Gibson, 12, secured the boys kumite (fighting) 12-15 years under-5ft title.
Gibson also won a second gold alongside Alice Jewitt, 12, and James Allan, 13, in the children’s team kata.
Sam Light, 18, took silver in the junior male kumite 18-20 years, and then earned a bronze in the male team kumite alongside Chris Hamilton, 18, and Martin Fraser, 23.
Club instructor John Bruce said: “I was extremely pleased with the performances of the team. We showed great determination, skill and energy.
“The preparation leading up to the championships went very well, the enthusiasm, effort and commitment within the team was brilliant.
“And to top off a fantastic day, Holly Sterling made history in becoming the first female competitor to win both kata and kumite events twice”.
Sendai train at City Space, at Sunderland University, the Raich Carter Sports Centre, East Herrington primary school, Southwick primary school and St Mary church hall, in Easington village.
Anyone interested in joining should contact (0191) 3854851 or visit the website at www.sendaiskc.co.uk.