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Six of the best lead the way on the mat

Left to right, Sensei Jill Kelly, Evie Ackroyd, Joel Pollard, Denny Shy, Sensei Andy Sherry, Charlotte Reason, Gemma Gibson and Jessica Peel.
Left to right, Sensei Jill Kelly, Evie Ackroyd, Joel Pollard, Denny Shy, Sensei Andy Sherry, Charlotte Reason, Gemma Gibson and Jessica Peel.

Ashington Karate Club proved size isn’t everything when members took part in a local competition.

Despite sending only six competitors to the Gateshead Youth Championships, the club won the most medals of any club, with every one of its youngsters picking up at least one first place.

Gemma Gibson was victorious in both the Female 16-20 Kata and Kumite categories, with teammate Evie Ackroyd placing second in both of these categories. Denny Shy won the Children’s Brown and Black Belt Kata and placed second in the Boys Kumite Under 5ft.

Together, the three of them won the Team Kata event after entering on the day with less than five minutes of practice before they had to walk on the mat and perform two katas in order to make the final and then winthe category.

Joel Pollard and Jessica Peel, both 12, won the Boys Kumite 5ft-5ft5in and Girls Kumite categories respectively. Charlotte Reason, the youngest competitor in the club, won the Children’s Novice-4th Kyu Kata and placed third in the Girls Ippon Kumite category, facing much older opponents in both categories.

At the end of the competition, Denny Shy was awarded the Collin Schubert Trophy for best overall competitor. This is the second year the trophy has been awarded to a competitor from Ashington.

Two weeks earlier, The Karate Union of Great Britain National Youth Championships were held in Chesterfield. Six members from Ashington Karate Club competed, with two members making the finals.

Charlotte Reason, seven, made the finals of the Girls Novice-4th Kyu Kata, placing fourth in a final made up of girls aged up to 15. Denny Shy, 12, placed third in the Boys Kumite Under 5ft category, and finished second in the Boys Black Belt Kata, beating much older and more experienced competitors in order to make the final.

The club trains at Ashington Leisure Centre on Saturday mornings and at Josephine Butler Campus on Thursday evenings. Contact Sensei Jill Kelly on 07930324556 or visit the club website at www.ashingtonshotokankarate.co.uk