Great article and good luck to all those going. Go team GB. Its great to see clubs supporting their students with financial support etc, so many in this sport get no help.
FURNESS Shotokan students are set to dazzle among the lights of Las Vegas where they will fly the flag for their country in the Ozawa International Cup.
Dylan Hall, aged 12, plus 15-year-olds Joshua Comber and Molly Wernham will take part in the competition after being selected to represent the Federation of Shotokan Karate’s (FSK) 15-strong England party.
The squad, including the disciplined Furness Shotokan Karate Club contingent, flew out to Sin City yesterday and will participate in the Ozawa Cup on Saturday at the Las Vegas Flamingo Hotel.
They will seek to progress through the rounds in their hunt for individual medals, with the field sure to include competitors from many different countries.
Meanwhile, Dylan, who lives in Barrow, will be part of a three-boy group – in a 10-to-12-years category and completed with two children from Nottingham – who will take part in a team tournament.
The trio were picked due to their success at their federation’s national events over the last few years, and will make their debut in the event, although other club members have competed in Vegas in the past.
Kirkby-based St Bernard’s RC School pupil Molly and Joshua, from Barrow, will also represent England in the US International Open at the Las Vegas Paris Hotel tomorrow, with plenty of American talent likely to be on show.
The Federation’s chief instructor is Sensei Aidan Trimble (7th Dan) who regularly visits Barrow to give training courses and grading examinations for the Furness Shotokan students.
And Furness’ chief instructor is Dylan’s father, Mike Hall, who said: “The FSK go to Vegas every two years, but it’s a very expensive trip so we can’t always support it.
“But this time we’ve got three kids absolutely flying it at the moment.”
Expensive indeed – Mike estimates that the cost of the Vegas trip per child – with family members accompanying the youngsters – is about £1,200.
But the club’s fund-raising effort has helped to reduce the financial burden on families, with proceeds of around £700 being spent on kit, additional protective equipment and the extra cost of regularly travelling to train at FSK’s Nottingham headquarters.
Raffles, a fund-raising evening and a sponsored kick – where the whole club had to do 1,000 kicks and 500 punches in one hour – boosted the coffers.
Their tracksuits, kit bags and t-shirts were kindly sponsored by Nottingham-based Jay Bee Construction.
Meanwhile, Dowdales School pupils Dylan and Joshua have both received grants from the Barrow Borough Sports Council.
And the dedicated trio are keeping their part of the bargain as they have trained for five-to-six hours per week over the last six months in Furness, plus completed sessions in Nottingham.
Mike added: “They have all worked extremely hard and the training has taken it’s toll with pulled muscles, a few knocks and bruises, but mainly sore blistered feet.
“It hasn’t stopped them though, and I am extremely proud of the effort and devotion they have put in to their training.”
Karate Leicester – Deacons Martial Arts and Fitness
Owner and Chief Instructor of Deacons Martial Arts and Fitness in Oadby, Leicester.