Club prepares for big overseas trip of a lifetime

A NUMBER of the children involved in the Mary Valley Karate Club are yet to cross the borders of Queensland let alone Australia.

But in a few weeks that will all change when the karate contingent travels to the Philippines for the Asian Goodwill Games.

Mary Valley Karate Club Sensei Peter Maddocks is a technical coach and said there was much excitement leading up to the squad flying out on October 19.

"Our nine club members taking part range from seven to 43 years in age and they are excited.

"For many of the children, it is their first time out of the country," he said.

Maddocks said competition for the games would be "massive" with the world's best to arrive from countries such as Great Britain and America.

"For this reason it is about getting the kids in particular exposure at this level of competition.

"It's hard to forecast what results we can expect but it would be a great achievement to make some inroads into competition," he said.

Karate is a broad term with many strains of the martial art having evolved over time and the Mary Valley club practices a traditional form of Japanese karate called Shotokan.

Maddocks says the main point of difference between this brand of karate and other forms is that Shotokan places emphasis on self-defence and discipline over competition.

Selection of the club's nine members to take part in the international competition draws on recent results, including the Australasian Karate Championships held late last month on the Gold Coast, producing 26 trophies and eight Australasian Champions.

Mary Valley champions included Billy Lord, Liam Valentine, Sebastian Zaknic, Treymane Beattie, Cellia Knight, Ethan and Becky Tu'akoi.

Sharon Tu'akoi, mother of Ethan and Lepeka, will be making the journey with her kids to the Philippines.

"My kids have been involved with the club for one a half years now and it's exciting to be travelling abroad with the sport.

"I don't think they will fully grasp what is going on, although we talk about it, until they arrive at the airport," she said.

The trip to the Philippines requires a significant financial outlay and Maddocks says the club has been fundraising over the last 12 months.

"We have been fundraising to take the financial burden out of the trip," he said.

The squad of nine includes: Steve Connolly, Celia Knight, Francesca Dudas, James Dudas, Lepeka Tu'Akoi, Ethan Tu'Akoi, Josh Carter, Mitchell Connolly and Amelia Connolly.