Crumlin-based Karate club get their kicks at the World Championships

FIVE members of Ophir Karate Association were selected to represent Ireland at the World (All Nations) Wadokai Karate Championship held in Leicester recently.

Previously, the championship has rarely been hosted outside of Japan and Ireland took the opportunity to put forward a strong team.

Ophir competitors were: Sensei Siobhan Leckey and son Adam, Craig Ryan, Pearse O’Callaghan and Mathew Daly, who competed across both disciplines of Kata and Kumite during the tournament.

Sensei Leckey lead the way through the elimination rounds on Saturday to beat her peers in the Female 45yrs+ Kata category in a fight-off for the Gold medal against Japan.

Mathew Daly followed next in his Cadet (14-15yrs) Kata category and finally Craig Ryan was narrowly beaten in his race for gold.

Ophir’s final tally of medals was 1 x Gold and 2 x bronze medals.

This is some achievement for the relatively small association with clubs in Belfast, Crumlin and Killyleagh, considering that they took three of the overall tally of eight Irish medals.

Ophir’s team member train regularly in the Belfast club in Ophir Scout Hall in North Belfast and in Crumlin Leisure Centre in Crumlin.

The team also travel to Dublin to attend squad training sessions with the rest of the Irish WadoKai Karate team.

There is no rest for team Ophir as they continue preparations for the 45th Federation of European WadoKai Karate championship which takes place in Dublin this November, at the indoor Basketball Arena in Tallaght.

The team are expecting to meet strong opposition from the home nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) along with countries such as Romania, Hungary, Belgium, Portugal, Spain.

This promises to be another fantastic experience for team Ophir.

If you are interested in joining any of these successful clubs, please feel free to check out (Ophir Karate) on Facebook or email chief instructor Sensei Siobhan Leckey at for further information on classes.

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