Black belts accolade for karate club youngsters

PRESENTATION BOXES: Penarth Karate Club trio - from left, Jessica Jones, Lucy Roderick and Olivia de'Claire - with their Japanese silk black belts presentation boxes.

TRAINING SESSION: Penarth Karate Club trio - from left, Olivia de'Claire, Jessica Jones and Lucy Roderick - during a black belt grading training session at Lower Penarth Community Hall.

First published in Sport

THREE young martial arts enthusiasts have successfully attained their junior black belts.

In recognition of their fantastic achievement, the trio, 10-year-olds Olivia de’Claire and Lucy Roderick, and Jessica Jones, aged 11, who are members of the Penarth Karate-do Shotokai Club, were proud recipients of Japanese silk black belts in presentation boxes.

The girls have been training five to six years to achieve the level of skill and expertise they now demonstrate, and club instructor Jonathan de'Claire said: "All have shown a considerable amount of commitment to karate and now represent a level that other young people at the club can aspire to, but only a few achieve."

All three of the girls are involved in families that have, or have had, other members training at the club over the years. Olivia, who attends Sully Primary School, is the daughter of two of the instructors - dad and club chief Jonathan (4th Dan) and mum Gail (1st Dan black belt), who has been teaching at the junior club for over 12 years. Lucy, who also attends Sully Primary, has a brother Ben, a brown belt, while dad Alan managed a blue in the senior club. Jessica, the oldest of the girls, is in Year 6 at Victoria Primary School and her sister is a cadet level black belt.

So, there is a real sense of family achievement at the club. Jonathan said: "It is all the better that this unusual event has happened in the club's 40th anniversary year and is a real testament to its history in the town. The Penarth Karate Club is very proud of the achievements of the girls and all of its members, who are following in the footsteps of Olivia, Lucy and Jessica by steadily working their way through their karate gradings."

The girls will now continue to train towards their cadet black belts and transition, at some time in the future, into the senior club.

Anyone wishing to know more about the club can contact Jonathan on 07875430001 or email jdeclaire@live.co.uk.

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