Kokoro Kai Goju Karate NSW is very proud to announce and celebrate the recent accomplishments of one of our own Bega Valley karate champions, Alicia Gauld.
At the NSW Australian Karate Federation (AKF) State Championship, held recently at the Whitlam Centre in Liverpool, Gauld secured gold by placing first in combined 35/45+ years Kata (forms) and won gold by coming first in 45+ years Kumite (fighting).
Her club said in what has been a tumultuous, uncertain and extremely challenging year for the Valley with the terrible fires, COVID and floods, it was "a joy to have a good news story that highlights that with perseverance and sheer will and hard work, dreams can come true".
Gauld started karate training a little later in her career, worked very hard and achieved her black belt with Kokoro Kai. With the support, coaching expertise and mentorship of Shihan Robert Graham - 5th dan black belt, co-founder of Kokoro Kai Goju and NSW head instructor/head of style - Gauld was successfully selected for the NSW AKF State Team at selections in March 2019.
Training with the NSW AKF involved regularly travelling to train in Sydney. The program that the NSW Karate Federation planned was compressed into the months leading up to the Japan Olympics, where karate would have been included as an Olympic sport for the first time.
Kokoro Kai Goju said it was an honour for them and Gauld to train with such talented athletes.
Hard training paid off with Gauld placing third in 45+ years Kata and first in 45+ years Kumite at the February 2020 NSW All Styles Tournament.
With considerable momentum behind her, she was all set to attend the NSW State Championships Selection in March, before the heartbreaking announcement that due to the risk of COVID-19, the championships were cancelled.
As the saying goes, good luck is where hard work and opportunity meet, so due to Gauld's track record the NSW AKF announced that not only was she selected for NSW in absentia, she was also awarded the Sports Star Award for 45+ years Kumite.
NSW Karate Federation had to postpone the state championships three times due to COVID, so to say that Gauld was pleased to get the opportunity to finally compete this October is an understatement.
The NSW AKF did an amazing job putting on the October 2020 event with a temperature check machine, hand sanitiser stations and COVID-19 marshalls. Kokoro Kai Goju NSW thanked the NSW Karate Federation, volunteers and fellow competitors, and all Bega Valley supporters and sponsors.
Next for Gauld is the NSW Cup to be held on December 5.
Kokoro Kai had to close its doors this year for a while due to COVID-19, however with best practice advice and a well-researched and implemented COVID-19 management plan, the Bega, Candelo and Eden dojos have re-opened.
All necessary precautions are strictly adhered to keep everyone safe, with all Instructors COVID-qualified and ensuring student safety is proactively managed.
There are multiple benefits to training in karate, physical and mental wellbeing, flexibility and fitness, self-defence, improved vitality and confidence and if the student has the will, Kokoro Kai will provide the way.
For information on how to join, contact Shihan Robert Graham on 0427 945 930.