Shotokan clubs dominate national karate contest

The Harrogate and Boston Spa karate squads in Chesterfield. (S)
The Harrogate and Boston Spa karate squads in Chesterfield. (S)

Harrogate Shotokan Karate Club along with Boston Spa Karate Club sent a squad of competitors to the Karate Union of Great Britain’s National Youth Championships in Chesterfield.

The Harrogate/Boston Spa club had by the largest squad competing at the event, with 37 attending.

For many of the squad this was there first time competing, and four of their members became national champions.

Emelye O’Brien, a pupil at Birkenshaw Middle School, took the Girls Kumite (fighting) in the over 5’3” event.

Twelve-year-old Emelye was fighting in the category is for 12-15 years.

Emelye’s opponent in the final was teammate Holly Dickinson who fought well to come away with the silver.

 Harrogate Grammar School student Jordon Probst earned the second gold of the day.

The final again saw an all Harrogate/Boston affair with teammate Joe Finlay coming away with the silver.

James Brown also won gold.

The Rossett High School pupil took the Boys Kumite over 5’5” title. James then earned bronze in the Boys Black Belt Kata.

The final gold went to Kieran Tucker in the Boys Kata Novice-4th Kyu category. 

Kieran, a pupil at Wetherby High School only just missed out on a medal position.

Stephen Brown took the silver and Tom Little bronze in the Junior Male Kumite 18-20 years. Jacob Backhouse earned silver in the Boys 5’-5’5” Kumite and Mell Finlay bronze in the Female Kata event.

Club instructor Sensei Matt Price 5th Dan, a World Karate Champion, said: “The club had an amazing day.

“It was fantastic to see so many of our younger club members perform so well at such a high quality tournament.

“To win four gold and having two all-Harrogate/Boston finals was great.

“The clubs’ futures look bright!”