Karate kids’ knockout year with haul of 350 awards

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HIGH-kicking Wearside youngsters celebrated a knockout year after proving to be prize guys – and girls – for their karate club.

Members of Dokan Gudo Nishijima Karate Club finished the year with 11 national and international championships, 106 first-place awards and a total of 342 medals and trophies.

The club has more than 150 youngsters training in Sunderland, Boldon and Whitburn.

Chief instructor, Kevan Mitchinson, said: “They are a really dedicated bunch of youngsters, and, if they keep training the way they have been, we can look forward to even more success in the future.”

The youngsters rounded off the season in style at the Teesside Open tournament in Stockton. The club entered 30 students and won 13 of the 16 categories it contested – totally dominating the event by winning 60 trophies.

The young competitors included Lara Elliott, six, of Fulwell, Sunderland, Olivia Fellows, 8, of Cleadon, Eleisha Mitchinson, 11, of East Boldon, and Josh Beardsmore, 11, of Redhouse, Sunderland.

The following day saw them taking part in their annual in-club tournament – culminating in a battle-of-the-genders competition.

Some 73 youngsters took part in the event, which saw them compete in both kata, executing a series of fixed movements, and kumite, or freestyle fighting.

Fifteen girls were matched up against 15 boys of similar size and grade – and the girls won by 10 bouts to five.

Kevan said: “The end-of-year competition is always a spirited affair and, coming the day after the Teesside competition, it was a busy end to the season.

“This year has been an immensely successful year for Dokan’s competition squad, with the club producing 11 national champions.

“This, along with all their other successes, has put it firmly at the top end of British karate.

“They aim to continue in the same style next year.”

For details about the club and training times, call Kevan on 0793 913 0411 or go to www.dokan.co.uk.