Karate kids depart for Australia

CAPTION: L-R: Makoto Racika, Chesley Yee, Braelynn Yee, Senia Mua and Sakaraia Racika, all of Karate Nadi at the Nadi International Airport prior to their departure. Photo: KARATE NADI.

By ANTHONY MASON (President ? KARATE NADI)

The 2013 Australian Open & Australian Schools & University Championships organized and endorsed by the Australian Karate Federation (AKF) will take place from the 19th?to the 21st?of April at the Whitlam Leisure Centre in Liverpool, Sydney, Australia. (http://www.akf.com.au/).

For the first time, as opposed to past years, the 2013 Australian Open Championship is now going to be an international event on the Fiji Karate Federation calendar (www.karatefiji.net) where participation will be via Dojo/Club level rather than National level.

Therefore, five young, committed and inspirational karatekas from Karate Nadi will be representing Karate Nadi at this particular Karate championship.

This takes place on Saturday 20th?and Sunday 21st?of April. And as I believe will be a first for Fiji, three of these Karate Nadi karatekas will also be representing their high school, well renowned Natabua High School from Lautoka, at the 2013 Australian Schools & University Championships that takes place on the 19th?of April at the same venue.

Over the period 19th?to 21st?April, these two (2) separate events are being held concurrently, both being AKF endorsed events.

Natabua High School has endorsed and supported the Karate Nadi high school students in their participation at this annual Australian Karate Federation event. The karatekas of Karate Nadi are:

1.???????Chesley Yee, 17yrs – Karate Nadi, Natabua High School (Current National rep)

2.???????Makoto Racika, 16yrs ? Karate Nadi, Natabua High School (Current National rep)

3.???????Sakaraia Racika, 14yrs ? Karate Nadi, Natabua High School (Current National rep)

4.???????Braelynn Yee, 11yrs ? Karate Nadi, Nadi Airport School (Current National rep)

5.???????Senia Mua, 12yrs ? Karate Nadi, Nadi Airport School

They will also be joined by 16-year-old Aisha Rafiq of Lautoka Shotokan Karate, also a student of Natabua High School and a current National rep.

Together, Natabua High School of Lautoka will have 4 reps at the 2013 Australian Schools & University Championships to be held in Liverpool, Sydney. And for these karatekas, training and preparation for the 2013 karate season really had not stopped since 2012. Karate Nadi athletes took a short break at the end of last year but began hitting the road and the tatami mat weeks before the 2013 school year began.

Karate Nadi is very supportive of our ?karatekas? as we would traditionally call them, given their dedication to this sport and their level of achievement to date despite their very young age. Chesley Yee is an integral member of Karate Nadi given his role as Senior Instructor for Karate Nadi for approximately 4 years, with anything from 30 to 50 Karatekas under his instruction at any one training session every Tuesdays and Thursdays in Nadi.

Chesley is currently of 1st?Kyu Brown Belt ranking where his next grading would see him then earn 1st?Dan Black Belt. His accomplishments in the sport to date are a feat that anyone would admire given his age.

Chesley was awarded Young Male Athlete of the Year by FASANOC and the Fiji Sports Council on 2 consecutive occasions, 2010 and 2011. And his achievements and character overall as an everyday person & school student is an inspiration, a lot with thanks to how the sport and it?s teachings and trainings has molded him and molded our other karatekas.

We therefore as a Dojo/Club affiliated to Fiji Karate Federation are always ready to support and back them up when it comes to international competition and exposure, for their growth and development.

Karate Nadi athletes left for Sydney on Thursday, 18th?April via Air Pacific flight.

They will be traveling with Karate Nadi parents, Mr. Braeman and Mrs. Vika Yee and Mrs. Lora Mua. Vika Mrs Yee is also the Secretary for Karate Nadi.

On their return from Sydney, training continues without haste as Karate Nadi looks ahead and prepares for the Fiji Games on 10th?May, the 2013 National Karate Championships on 17th?August, and the 03rd?Karate Fiji International on 26th?? 28th?September.