THE Welsh Karate League stepped up to another level on Sunday, April 13 at the opening tournament of the new season, when 37 clubs sent more than 450 entries to the WKA International Open.
A small squad from Portugal attended, and all four of the major organisations that form the English Karate Council; Karate England, KarateSport England, FEKO and the AMA had participants involved, as well as a big group from Ireland also present, with the IKAW sending squads from five clubs; Carlow, Ballon, Bigstone, Ballinabrannagh and Askea.
The home of Sport Wales, the Welsh Institute of Sport, was the venue, a brilliant stage for the biggest and highest quality WKL event yet, and probably the biggest and certainly highest quality Karate tournament in Wales in years!
There is now a very definite buzz around the League and Karate Wales, with all Wales' most successful clubs over the past decade or so now vying for honours with strong squads, which will undoubtedly drive standards up, and it has to be said that although Vale Karate, Ken Bu Kan and The Bushi-Kai will be hard to oust in the League pecking order, there is a plethora of talent emerging from many other clubs in the League! Cardiff Shotokan, Cogan, Talbot, Kansei, Pencoed, Wattstown... the list goes on of Karate Wales clubs who have huge potential in their ranks!
Vale Karate had a huge squad with eighty-one category entries in Cardiff!
A couple of new categories boosted their attendance, Vale entered four Junior teams and no fewer than six parent and child Kata pairings!
Vale Karate earned One Hundred and seventy-two points, more than at any event last season and nine gold, seven silver and eighteen bronze medals!
Included in that medal haul were two gold medals for Josh Dwyer who took top honours in both Under 14 Advanced Kata and Kumite.
A spectacular day was brought to a conclusion with the special Adult team events, and a great performance by the Karate Wales Men's team who won the event beating the quality KarateSport England team in the process.
The second event is fast approaching.
May 11 in Bridgend.
VALE KARATE MEDALLISTS
Jared Butcher U14 Special Needs Kata
Asa Madsen 14+Special Needs Kata
Heidi & Kloe Parent & Child Kata
Emma & Alex (Panthers) Junior Pairs Kata
Emma Squire Under 16 Advanced kata
Vale Samurai Under 12 Team Kumite
Josh Dwyer Under 14 Advanced Kata
Josh Dwyer Under 14 Advanced Boys Kumite
Leah Copeland Ladies Kata
Bradley James U14 Special Needs Kata
Daniel Richards 14+ Special Needs Kata
Giulia & Chiara Paren t& Child Kata
Josh & Harrison (Vipers) Junior Pairs Kata
Chiara Baker Junior Shotokan Kata
Finnian O'Donovan Under 10 Advanced Boys kumite
Danica Apologista Under 12 Advanced Kata
Lucas Widdrington U14 Special Needs Kata
Connor shill U14 Special Needs Kata
Pippa & Chris Parent& Child Kata
Jon & Alex Parent& Child Kata
Danica & Chiara (Dragons) Junior Pairs Kata
Kloe Christoforato Junior Shotokan Kata
Danica Apologista Junior Shotokan Kata
Kian George Under 8 Boys kumite
Jay Forsyth Under 8 Boys Kumite
Alexandra Slack Under 16 Advanced Kata
Vale Karate Under 10 Team Kumite
Vale Karate Under 14 Team Kumite
Ella Lyons Under 10 Advanced Kata
Ella Forsyth Under 12 Girls Kumite
Chiara Baker Under 12 Advanced Kata
Matthew Hill Mens Kata
Amy Davis Ladies Kumite
Rory O'Donovan Mens Veteran Kumite