A COUNCILLOR has helped a group of karate students from Scarborough take their place at a prestigious international karate contest.
A total of seven young people and adults, who practice the Japanese-style of karate, Go-Kan-Ryu (GKR), had been selected to represent Britain in the global event.
The GKR Karate World Cup took place at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes this summer and was open to all ages and all grades from Australia, the USA, New Zealand and the UK.
The group of Scarborough students from GKR Karate, Eastfield, included children and their parents who had all qualified to compete in the contest.
The Eastfield Eagles team included Beau, aged 13, Lily, 13, her mum Shelley, Chay, aged 14 and his dad Adam, Charles and coach Nicki Martin.
But before they could demonstrate their skills in the contest, the Scarborough group first had to overcome the issue of finding funding for transport, accommodation and entry fees.
The fundraising was given a huge boost thanks to ward councillor for Eastfield & Osgodby, Cllr Tony Randerson, who donated £1,500 from his locality budget.
Other donations came from two masonic lodges St Nicholas in Scarborough and Lodge of St Andrew in Hull, Schneider Electric, AFS Technologies, Ne've Shalom Synagogue, Drypool Green Community Association and Scarborough Higashi Karate.
The money was used to transport each of the competitors and one parent to the World Cup and for overnight accommodation.
Cllr Randerson said: “They had been doing various fundraising events and raised a considerable amount of money themselves. I was more than happy to top it up to the amount they needed. One of the great things about being a councillor is I can help in this way and support grassroots sport.
“I was delighted to help through the locality budget. The fact that seven people were representing Great Britain at these world championships is something to be proud of, they did very well to be selected, it is pretty impressive.”
The group meets at Eastfield Community Centre in Scarborough on Wednesdays from 6pm and provides classes for children aged five and up.
The Eastfield Eagles Dojo is a family-orientated Karate group with many of the parents training with their children.
Sensei coach, Nicki Martin, said Karate was a positive sport for all generations; building strength and self-confidence, balance, co-ordination. It also teaches discipline and courtesy as well as basic self-defence.
Nicki said: “All the team won their places in this incredible event through their hard work and dedication and qualified by being the best in their age and grade groups in the Northern Regional Competitions earlier in the year.
“We didn't come back with any medals this time, but the experience was phenomenal and all the students are keyed up and raring to go for the next regional tournament which will take place in Sheffield on 28th September and is the qualifying competition for the UK Nationals in November.
“I am very proud of all my students and to me they are all champions who represented not only themselves incredibly well, but also our dojo, the local community and Great Britain. It takes a great deal of courage to stand up in front of hundreds of people and be the best you can be.
“The sponsorship from Cllr Tony Randerson was a truly welcome contribution to our fund-raising and it allowed us to get the entire team and supporters to the World Cup without too much financial hardship.”