Karate kids turn heads at nationals

(L-R) Blake and Ella Skewes and Hannah and Brian Sullivan. Photo: Ben Smith.
(L-R) Blake and Ella Skewes and Hannah and Brian Sullivan. Photo: Ben Smith.

THREE junior West Coast Karate representatives have made their mark on the national stage.

Coogee brother and sister Blake and Ella Skewes and Hannah Sullivan, who all train at the Willetton martial arts school, impressed at the recent Australian Karate Federation Championships and all returned with gold medals.

Sullivan took out gold in the kumite individual female juniors +59Kg and kumite individual female juniors open categories, while Blake claimed gold in the kumite individual male cadets -63Kg and bronze in the kumite individual male cadets open.

Meanwhile, his sister Ella won gold in the individual female children -47Kg category.

Blake and Sullivan’s performance have also earned them international selection, with the pair set to travel to Chile for the Junior World Championships in October.

Bateman resident Sullivan said she was thrilled to win and qualify for the world championships, given how high the standard of competition was.

“It’s always really scary going to compete at nationals because there’s so many different people who compete internationally, you never know what’s going to happen.”

“It meant a lot, especially going into those world championships, getting that extra bit of confidence and knowing they did pick you rightly.”

Blake said he felt confident about his chances after his first fight eased any nerves he had.

“Going into it, I’d prepared well for it. Knowing you’re the best in your division is a good feeling,” Skewes said.

Instructor Brian Sullivan said all three of them were fully deserving of their medals, having seen first hand the hard work they had put in.

“They’ve put a lot of work in over a really long time and are starting to reap those rewards,” he said

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