Karate: Swan Hills athletes shine in national championships

7 WA Men's Team Kata team and coach - from left: Tom Pettitt Sensei  Coach Bob Allen Theo Prinsloo Phil Salmon
7 WA Men's Team Kata team and coach - from left: Tom Pettitt Sensei Coach Bob Allen Theo Prinsloo Phil Salmon

STUDENTS from Swan Hills Goju Ryu Karate Club are bringing home medals from the Australian Karate Federation’s national championship tournament.

Senior State Kata Coach Allen guided the WA state team towards achievements at the annual July competition in Sydney.

Drew Ridley received a bronze medal for male veterans’ kata in his first year training and competing after a 20-year absence.

State champion men’s kata team – Phil Salmon of Swan Hills Goju Ryu Karate, Theo Prinsloo and Tom Pettitt – won silver medals in their division.

The trio recently performed a feature demonstration for competitors and seminar attendees at the Pacific Cup championships in Noumea, New Caledonia.

New state team member Tazmin Smith had a strong nationals debut, winning her first round in a large field.

The total tally for the WA team was 13 gold, 14 silver and 14 bronze medals. 

“I’m very proud of the efforts of my students and all of the WA team,” said Sensei Bob Allen of the Swan Hills club.

“With countless hours on the mats and in personal and group practice sessions, their dedication and teamwork showed in their performances.”

Sensei Bob said the year also marked a personal journey with his recognition as referee of the year.

“Having recently retired from refereeing, I can now concentrate solely on coaching our team and my own students to aim for and surpass their own performance goals.”

Sensei Bob is the WA head of Goju Ryu Australia and a referee at the state and national level for more than 21 years.

He teaches students of all ages at his Midland and Mount Helena dojos and can be contact on 0419 922 609 or email bob@swanhillsgojuryu.com.au