Club punches above weight

THE Mary Valley Shotokan Karate Club is a small club compared to some of the bigger centres in Queensland.

But that didn't stop it returning to Gympie with a swag of trophies at the weekend after contesting the 2009 Australasian Karate Titles in Runaway Bay, on the Gold Coast.

In total, the club supplied 10 fighters and won a remarkable 18 trophies.

It's one of the best performances by the club at any single event.

Mary Valley Shotokan Karate is run by Sensei Steve Gorlick, a fifth degree black belt, and Sensei Andy Dudas, a third degree black belt.

Gorlick was rapt with the club's performance.

“For some of our students, it was their first time competing in a tournament,” he said.

“They have done themselves and the Mary Valley proud.”

A breakdown of the results is as follows:

Ethan Tu'akoi: First in fighting and third in kata.

Lepeka Tu'akoi: Despite being only 12, Lepeka claimed second in the Under 16 black belt division as well as third in kata.

Kyle Gorlick: First in Under 13 fighting despite entering in only his second tournament.

Josh Carter: Third in kata after displaying his skills in two superb matches.

James Dudas: Third in fighting in the Under 15 brown belt division.

Amellia and Alana Connolly: Both sisters placed second in fighting and Alana managed third in the Under 6 girls division.

Not to be outdone, Amellia gained new skills competing in the Under 10 girls brown belt division.

Steve Connolly : Took part in the men's novice division and showed plenty of improvement.

Caroline Maddocks: First in kata and third in fighting.

Meanwhile, two new additions to the Mary Valley club, Izac Leacy and Gus Nye, used their first tournament to settle nerves.

“These two boys proved they have what it takes to be future champions,” Gorlick said.

Leacy enjoyed a fourth in kata and fighting while Nye was among the top three with a third in kata.

Another highlight was the performance of Shane King, who had four fights, only to lose by half a point to take out second in fighting for Under 7 boys.

A small margin also denied young black belt Mitchell Connolly from taking out the Japan Karate Champion in his match.

“Mitch threw every kick in the book and at the end of the fight, the two fighters could not be separated,” Gorlick said.

“The fight then went to an extension round with Mitch narrowly losing by half a point.”

The Mary Valley club recently launched its website at

Gympie Times

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