Karate team heading for Boston test

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Under the watchful eye of Roy Macdonald, from the Jersey Kenpo Karate Association, the squad includes two families who are both competing – David, Debbie, Ashley and Catherine Bell and Cathy, Ian, Ben and David Pryor.’They’ll never get another opportunity like this to compete as a family,’ said Macdonald who, as well as competing, will be taking one of the seminars.’There are over 150 categories, including Kata, freestyle, sparring and self-defence and both team and individual events.’Over 19 countries will be represented, and this will be martial arts at its highest level.

It will be awe-inspiring for some of those travelling.’His enthusiasm for a sport he has been involved in for 31 years is infectious, and he has high hopes for a Jersey side that already boasts European champions at their age level.’We’ve some outstanding kids,’ he said.

‘Ben Pryor, who’s 11, Ross Crenan, who’s nine, and Pakawan Follon, who’s ten, are black belts and champions in their own right, having won in Portugal.’We should do well in the team competition, and I’ve also high hopes for Amanda Walsh who’s 13 and a brown belt.

She’s outstanding.

She’ll take part in the mixed team event with the other boys.’But you can’t ignore the adults, either, including Ray Molloy and Gerry Flynn, who’ve proved themselves the best in Europe before now.’It will be a tough challenge, but I’m confident that mentally and physically the squad are prepared for the competition.

It’s a huge event, but I think they’ll be surprised at how high the standard is over here.

The world championships are now held every two years, and it’s a great experience, not only to take part, but to make new friends.

Some of the Americans taking part have already been to Jersey.’To raise money for the trip away the group have organised everything from a sponsored parachute jump to race nights, bag packing at a superstore and car boot sales.Now, however, everything has been paid for and apart from training – up to five times a week – there is the anticipation of travelling to America plus testing themselves at the very highest level to look forward to.’But the sport at this level isn’t just a physical battle,’ said MacDonald.

‘Every man can conquer his enemy.

It’s who can conquer himself that matters.

You have to be 100 per cent focused right from the start.

That is one of the reasons why the junior cadets did so well in Portugal.

I’m confident that everyone will be in the right frame of mind once we’re in Boston.’

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