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  • Writer's pictureOnline Journalist

16 World Medals for Passage West Karate Club

A 39-person strong Irish squad recently returned home from the prestigious Shotokan Karate-Do of United Nations (SKDUN) World Championships in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic having won an unprecedented 29 medals; 4 Gold, 6 Silver and 19 Bronze. Of the 32 Nations that competed at the Championship, Ireland ranked 9th on the overall leader’s board. The Irish secured medals in a wide range of categories at the event, from junior to veteran, and in both the kata (form) and kumite (fighting) disciplines.

The club has enjoyed unprecedented success in recent years at Provincial, National and International level. It has become home to an amazing group of young, talented and dedicated martial artists. The club recently retained the Jess Pablo perpetual shield for being the best club at the IJKA National Championship for the fifth year in succession. “We knew that the competitors from the Club selected to represent Ireland were all going well in training and in local tournaments, and we were quietly confident heading into the tournament that they stood a real chance of coming back with medals” remarked Sensei Hunter. “The club’s success has been duly recognised at Cork Martial Arts Promotions (CMAP) Awards, an annual event widely referred to by the martial arts community as “The Oscars of the Martial Arts”, with Passage West Karate Club winning best martial arts club in 2017, having been shortlisted for the award the previous year”.

Of the 1,231 karate hopefuls that competed at the championship, 18 are members of Passage West Karate Club, who between them they won an amazing 11 World medals; 2 Gold, 3 Silver and 6 Bronze.  The 18 competitors from the Cork based club that were selected to represent Ireland at the Championship were Amaya Bridgeman, Tristian Bridgeman, Layla Bridgeman, Ethan O’Leary, Tom McCarthy, Amy McCarthy, Krystian Mulcahy, Ciara Allen, Robert Allen, Bahiya Alstaif, Bahaa Alstaif, Maeve O’Brien, Ciaran Lear, Aisling Corkery, Sinead O’Flynn, Patrick Curtin, Barry Vosloo and Joe Hunter.

Following in the footsteps of the more senior members of the Passage West club, Amaya Bridgeman (gold), Amy McCarthy (silver), Krystian Mulcahy (bronze), and Robert Allen (bronze) made the breakthrough onto the winner’s rostrum, winning medals at the highest level of karate competition. The other more seasoned competitors and medal winners were Aisling Corkery (silver), Sinead O’Flynn (gold & bronze), Patrick Curtin (bronze), Barry Vosloo (bronze) and Joe Hunter (silver & bronze). The success of these local heroes has surpassed all expectations and they certainly have a fantastic karate career ahead of them and are a credit to their Club and Country.

The club was treated to a rousing homecoming at Passage West GAA club on Friday night. Cllr Seamus McGrath (Municipal District Chairperson) who was present on the night commented “well done to all involved, competitors, parents, and supporters. It was a great honour for me to present some of the medals last night and I hope everyone enjoyed the well-deserved celebrations”. Michael McGrath (TD) was also present at the celebrations and he thanked the club for bringing such success to the community.

The Passage West Karate Club committee would like to express its gratitude to all who helped make the celebrations so special and would like to extend a particular word of thanks to Cllr Seamus McGrath and Michael McGrath (TD) for their continued support. The club has been operating out of the CYMS Hall in Passage West for over 37 years. Its Instructors are Michael Keohane (6th Dan), Joe Hunter (5th Dan) and Aileen Hunter (3rd Dan), who are all immensely proud of the club’s achievements. They put the club’s success story down to a community effort; involving the commitment of so many talented local athletes and the ongoing support of their dedicated and hardworking parents. The club trains on Mondays & Wednesdays 6:30-7:30 (colour belts) and 7:30-8:30 (Brown & Black belts). New members are always welcome. Enquiries to (087)0683283.

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