Team to represent country at international karate competition

Hannah Lovejoy, 14 , Clara Smith, 11, Sheona Gibb, 10 , Chloe Gibb, 10, will now contribute to the national team.
Hannah Lovejoy, 14 , Clara Smith, 11, Sheona Gibb, 10 , Chloe Gibb, 10, will now contribute to the national team.

Four karate enthusiasts from Burgess Hill Girls have been selected to represent England in an international competition.

The International Renshinkan Tournament, held once every five years in Japan, will see the girls perform as part of the team for Great Britain.

The quartet have been commended for their discipline, dedication and courage after being selected.

Heading to Japan for the well known showdown is something many students who are practicing karate dream to experience.

Julia Turley, chief instructor at Karate School Renkinshan England, said the girls have worked very hard and what they have already achieved is deserving.

She said: “I am thrilled that Burgess Hill Girls has produced four such fine athletes who are wonderful team members.

“It has been a personal ambition of mine to encourage more girls into our team, and the school has been so supportive of my efforts.

“I am so excited to see, at long last, young women who have the discipline, dedication and courage to put themselves forward for this tremendous challenge.”

The four are among just 10 females in a GB team of 46 competitors, the largest squad ever to represent Renshinkan GB as well as the largest foreigner team ever to compete in Japan.

The tournament attracts 2,500+ competitors of all ages, and is held every five years.

The chief instructor added: “The team now has 16 months of intense training ahead of them to hone their skills and toughen their spirits in order to get the very best out of their Japan Tour in 2019.”

The team will be made up from twins Chloe and Sheona Gibb, 10, Clara Smith, 11, along with 14-year-old Hannah Lovejoy.

Renshinkan karate was introduced to England in 1985.

At the selection camp, prospective squad members were treated to a full weekend of competitions as well as personal training, discipline drills, and some sleep deprivation.

This was designed to give them both physical and mental toughness.

For information on the Renshinkan England, the official team heading to Japan, see: renshinkankarate-england.org.uk/