Karate club ends season with medal fest in Belfast

Kobushi Kai Ireland members who took part in the IKU Northern Ireland squad, which competed at the recent IKU World Championships. Back row left to right: Chris McFeely (Referee); Niamh Irvine, Patrick Gormley, Conor Doherty, Emma Ball and Dermott McLaughlin (Coach). Front row left to right: James McBrearty, Erin Kerrigan, Ciaran Curry and Grace Conway.
Kobushi Kai Ireland members who took part in the IKU Northern Ireland squad, which competed at the recent IKU World Championships. Back row left to right: Chris McFeely (Referee); Niamh Irvine, Patrick Gormley, Conor Doherty, Emma Ball and Dermott McLaughlin (Coach). Front row left to right: James McBrearty, Erin Kerrigan, Ciaran Curry and Grace Conway.

North West Karate players continue to shine at World Championships.

Only recently Kobushi Kai, who are based in the city and Claudy, had members who competed for Northern Ireland at the World Championships in Slovenia.

Ciaran Curry won a gold medal, James McBrearty secured a silver medal and Erin Kerrigan picked up a bronze, while Emma Ball, Patrick Gormley, Conor Doherty and Grace Conway all took part in the competition earlier this month.

Coach Dermott McLaughlin was delighted with how all the boys and girls gone on.

“We have been competing at the World championships for the last three years, we have been quite successful over the years and we brought back three medals this year.

“We had a squad of eight competing for Northern Ireland from our clubs, we have three medals from the Kata and the girls were also placed to compete in the finals of the Kata, but they unfortunately just didn’t finish in a medal place, but they still had a great competition.

“There is only six people who can get into the finals, so they did very well to get that far and I was really proud of all of them.

“We have a club in Claudy, in the Foyle Arena and also Templemore Sports Complex.

“Overall we have around 70 to 100 to choose from and there were eight selected for the squad, so it isn’t easy to get into the squad and for them to do well in Slovenia is great.”

McLaughlin is also hoping the recent success will attract possible new world champs in the future.

“Karate does make a difference to students, it makes them more independent and confident,” he added.

“We have classes in the Diamond Centre in Claudy, Foyle Arena and Templemore Sports Complex and you can find what times all the classes start at by visiting our Facebook page.”

In the Northern Ireland Championships, in Belfast on Sunday, it was again a medal fest for Kobushi Kai.

The club secured six golds - Morgan Hughes (2), Corey Hughes, Ciaran Curry and Shannon Carlin; three silvers - Eva Gallagher (2), Erin Kerrigan and Emma Barr and four bronze - Erin Kerrigan, Niamh Irvine and Connor Doherty - medals in what was a great way to finish the year as it was the final competition of the season.