NIKA Travel to Rimini today for the WKC World Karate Championships. The team of eight have been training hard with Sensei McAleer, in preparation for the Championships. They recently returned from Harlow International Karate open and had great success. Effie Ellis O’Neil a former World silver medallist has been training nonstop in preparation for the event, as well as preparing for her Dan Grade (Black belt). Effie, has been in NIKA since 5 years of age and aims to follow in her big brother Roan Ellis O’Neill’s footsteps and achieve her Black Belt on the 3rd July. Effie said “this is fittest and strongest I have ever been and I feel really good. I am excited about Italy and I am going out to give it my all with the aim of getting a medal position. I am really looking forward to the trip and also coming home and grading for my Dan grade. I have been assistant coaching in NIKA alongside Sensei Mc Aleer and I have learnt a lot about teaching, training and nutrition and I really enjoy it”. Sensei McAleer added that “Effie is a true role model to all NIKA junior and senior members . Effie commits and dedicates herself to the sport. The junior NIKA members love Effie coaching and look up to her with great respect. Effie will do really well in Italy and is fully prepared. It is all down to the performance on the day now”.
Team mate Lucy Ouldfield, only 14 years of age is a former junior world champion in 2014. Lucy competed in 2015 and moved up an age category last year in Lithuania and won a silver medal in kumite (Fighting) and was disappointingly beaten in the final 1:0. Lucy has her heart set on a medal this year in Rimini and even with a shoulder injury, she trained hard and now is feeling on form for this weekend. Sensei McAleer, said” it is great to see two very strong females in the team and following in my footsteps. Both girls have such drive and determination to win”. “ However, girls don’t rule it all in NIKA. Fergus McMullan currently sitting his GCSE’S, has juggled his study, fitness and preparation for Italy. Fergus, smashed it up winning all round him in Harlow and was outstanding in both Kata and Kumite. He certainly was fighter of the day. Fergus fought through three rounds after slipping and falling onto his own hand. Little did we know the hand was broken and not staved. Fergus returned home and recently went through an operation to have a pin placed in the hand. This did not stop Fergus one bit. He was back into class on the Thursday and asking for alternative training from Sensei McAleer as he was adamant he would not lose his fitness and speed for Italy. Sensei McAleer worked with Fergus and continued the preparation for the World Championships throughout Fergus rehab after the operation. Fergus will compete in Kata at this championships and was disappointed don’t to fight, however made a very mature decision with Sensei McAleer to let the hand heal fully for the British Championships in September. Over the last ¾ months Sensei McAleer has focused on one discipline with Fergus working on his speed power and technique and Sensei McAleer said he is looking razor sharp !
Luca Lavery and Jude Neil only 9 & 10 years of age are coming along to their very first World championships this year. Both boys have put in a lot of extra training and know its going to be a massive step up from what they have experienced and are really looking forward to the trip and travelling and representing Northern Ireland at this event.
Senior men’s team Kevin Neil, Jim Mccafferty and Charlie McMullan are returning to defend their World title in team kata and bronze medal in team kumite from Munich. Unfortunately team mate Martin Rice could not attend this trip due to work commitments but wishes the team the best of luck. Jim just recovering form very bad chest infection was concerned it may have an impact on his kumite performance but has made decision to push on and compete.
The team of eight will register and weigh in Thursday & Friday and then compete Saturday & Sunday. They are very excited to travel to Rimini and meet all other competitors form around the world who they have befriended from previous championships.
Sensei McAleer, would like to thank “GMB Union” for helping the Northern Ireland team with sponsorship and support with the travel to this championships, as without their help and support we could not have afforded to have taken all eight competitors to the championships. This event will be a huge experience for the team and a trip of a life time . All Updates and team results will be posted on Face book and our website: http://www.northernirelandkarate.co.uk , please keep an eye out and follow NIKA students this weekend.