KARATE: Peak Downs, Mackay, Emerald and Dysart might not have the biggest populations in the world but the talented students of the local central Queensland karate clubs have returned from the World Championships with impressive global rankings, a large boost of confidence and a well-earned pride in their achievements.
Mackay Central Highlands team head coach and Australian National team coach Sensei Lutie van den Berg said of the 72-member national team that travelled to Ireland, there were 29 students from the MCH squad.
The prestigious JKA World Karate Championships, or Gichin Funakoshi Cup, is held everythree years - this yearin Limerick - and Drvan den Berg said he was"very proud” of his students.
Dr van den Berg said thesquad had performed "really well” due to a "combination of their dedication and a desire to dowell”.
Students in the MCH group come from four dojos, or schools, which are Peak Downs Karate, Mackay Karate Centre, Dysart Karate Dojo and Emerald Karate Academy.
In Ireland, Emielia Jansen of Peak Downs Karate ranked fifth in the world, a testament to her dedicated training regime, which involves getting out of bed at 4am on Saturdays to travel 3½ hours from Capella to Mackay for training with Drvan den Berg.
Also from Peak Downs Karate finishing in the final eight in one category (kata) and ranking ninth in another (kumite) was Clay Sferratore, 9, and Jake Sferratore, 12, ranked ninth (kumite).
From Mackay Karate Centre, Harry Bates, 9, ranked ninth (kumite); Flynn Bushell, 13, ranked eighth (kata); Tara Daly, 14, ranked ninth (kumite); and Rosey Cameron, 15, finished in the top 16 (kata).
And from the Emerald Karate Academy Kaden Renwick, 13, ranked fifth (kumite); and Lachlan Isles, 13, Jamie Bridgeman, 13, and Jordan Piscioneri, 19, all ranked ninth (kumite).
Peak Downs Karate seniormember and Emielia's mother, Christel Jansen, said she was proud to be part of such a dedicated squad.
"We can offer this for children and adults, karate doesn't discriminate,” she said.
"It's up to you how far you want to go.”
She said students would have the chance to attend seminars instructed by world-class instructors at the national championships in November.