On 16/17th April 2016, five Walsall Karate Dojo students headed off to Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield to compete for JKS England at the English Karate Federation National Championships. Lewis Bradbury is still in injured so the Walsall contingent of the JKS England team consisted of Amber Bannister, Tanya Handley, Sydney McAleenan-Marks, Johann Santos and Amelia Stanley.
Our guys came away with 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 5 Bronze including JohannSantos becoming English Champion in Junior Male Kata and Amber Bannister coming away with a massive 5 medals (3 in Kumite and 2 in Kata). Here are the full list of medals:
Johann Santos - Junior Male Kata (English Champion)
Amber Bannister- Junior Female U53KG Kumite
Tanya Handley - Senior Female Team Kumite (JKS England Team)
Amber Bannister - Junior Female Open Weight Kumite
Amber Bannister - Junior Female Kata
Johann Santos - Senior Male Team Kata
Amber Bannister - Junior Female Team Kumite (JKS England Team)
Amber Bannister - Cadet/Junior Female Team Kata (JKS England Team)
For Johann becoming English champion for the first time is a culmination of hours of dedicated training and travelling to compete. This cemented his position as the number 1 Junior (16/17) kata competitor in England.
Ambers haul showed her true class as an all-rounder. Having only turned sixteen in February, the step up to the Junior category was a large one but she only missed out on Gold narrowly losing 4-3 in the final.
A special mention must also go to Amelia Stanley who showed the improvement she is making in her kata performance just missing out on a bronze, following her silver at association level at the JKS English nationals in November.
Well done to all five athletes who competed. We salute you all! A big thank you to everyone who went along to support our guys. Also a massive thank you to Matt PriceSensei and Nick Heald Sensei for selecting and coaching our competitors for this prestigious championships.