About 50 students from South Canterbury dojos including Fairlie, Waimate, Timaru Kyokushin Karate and Kyokushin Aoraki Timaru attended the 2023 Southern zone friendly tournament in Cromwell earlier this month.
The youngest to compete was a 5-year-old who had only begun karate three weeks earlier, through to students in their 60s, and all the Timaru students who competed returned home with medals.
Highlights for the South Canterbury contingent were Timaru Kyokushin Karate students Maximilian, Soraya and Constantine Hunt and Miglia Schicker winning gold in the senior section team kata.
Timaru Kyokushin Karate senpai Bob Drummond said he would be taking the four to nationals next year.
"We’re going to give the North Island a fright."
Miglia also won gold in the individual kata, and Kyokushin Aoraki Timaru student Athan Liew won silver.
Bianca Lang, and Caspian and Eva Hunt won silver in their section of the team kata, and Eva also won the female senior kumite (fighting).
Maximilian Hunt won a silver medal in fighting, and Chris Venter a gold.
Drummond and Kyokushin Aoraki Timaru senpai Vardi Culling said taking students to a tournament helped build confidence and give them the experience of competing against others, and putting their training into effect.
Students aiming to earn their black belt also had to take part in a competition.
"It’s about creating opportunities; just for the South Island ones that can’t travel, it gives them that experience," Culling said.