We just wanted to take a moment of your time to say a few words of thanks. We train at the Melville club and around the end of last year we decided to form a team for the Team Kata event in the Yoseikan tournament. We thought it might be fun and so we gave it a go. We trained really hard whenever we had a chance. We competed in our first competition as a team, and we placed 2nd! As the year progressed we competed again and placed 2nd once more! But this time, we wanted to get an even better result. We then took every chance we could to train as a team, and when the tournament came along – WE WON! We were pretty proud of ourselves.
This year we set ourselves the challenge to see if we could get a medal at the State tournament. We were very lucky that we had really supportive people around us. There were many people along the way who gave us advice and help, and we hope that they know how much we appreciate their time and experience. However, we would like to make a special mention and thank you to Adrian. Adrian Koelewyn spent as much time as he could with us – often staying well after class had finished. He gave us fantastic advice and encouragement. And, the result was that we won the State tournament!
So Adrian, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support, encouragement and advice. After the State’s we were feeling very pleased with ourselves and decided to apply for selection for the Nationals. Branco Bratich and Tony Smith gave so much of their time to get us ready for the Nationals. We really cannot express to you how grateful we are for all of your amazing advice, patience, dedication and determination. Representing your state in a National Tournament is an amazing achievement but doing it as part of a team has been really, really special. But we really don’t feel like we are a team of 3, because we feel like every time we go out on that mat to compete that you are with us. Well, if you haven’t already guessed, WE WON NATIONALS!!
Although, even better than winning gold at the Nationals is that we have now been selected for the Oceania’s. We are heading to Sydney in 2 weeks’ time as members of the Australian karate team. At any age I think that this is amazing, but at 12 and 13 years old it is beyond description. Personally, the moment that Tony told me, I broke down in tears and cried and shook for about half an hour. It was the happiest moment of my life. I had watched athletes from all different sports representing Australia at the Olympics and I could not believe that I was being given the honour of representing Australia at an International event. It is the trip of a lifetime and I know that each one of us is going to cherish it forever.
So Branco and Tony – it is difficult to tell you just how thankful we are to you both. Your coaching does not just make our karate better: · We are more confident, · We are more resilient, · We are learning to deal with stress and pressure, · We are learning to work as a team; · We are learning that hard work is rewarded, and · We are learning to grow as individuals and as a team. No matter whether we come last or first – we just hope that we make you proud. Thank you everyone for your time.
Jazmine Stone, Sarah Boon & Talei Miller