Karate club founder ‘very proud’ of students’ world championships medal haul

The students from Phoenix Karate School who attended the World Karate Championships. Back Row L to R

The students from Phoenix Karate School who attended the World Karate Championships. Back Row L to R: Coach Paul Mortimer, Bronze Medallist William Mortimer, Gold Medallist Jeanette Emmerson, Silver Medallist Billy Baker, Bronze Medallist Leighton Kerr and Chief Phoenix Coach Dean Snowling. Front Row : L to RCory Newton-Adams, Oliver Whittle, Aaliyah Miller, Zara Williams, William Snowling, Johannes Bieber and Tay Emmerson Picture: Phonex Karate School - Credit: Archant

The founder of a karate club has spoken of her pride as her medal-winning students return from the World Union of Karate-Do Federations (WUKF) World Karate Championships.

More than 2,000 competitors from 32 countries attended the championships in Dundee, with 11 students and two coaches from Phoenix Karate School making the journey.

Eight-year-old William Mortimer, from Lowestoft, and 11-year-old Leighton Kerr, from Gorleston, both won bronze medals in their respective kumite sections.

Kumite involves grappling and both had to fight off competition from around 50 competitors in their categories to come away with medals.

Billy Baker, 10, from Hopton won silver in his section and Jeannette Emmerson earned the club its first gold at the championships in the adult adapted kata.

Vivianne Trorey has been teaching karate for 35 years and founded Phoenix Karate Club with her late husband, holding classes in Great Yarmouth, Oulton Broad, Martham, Caister, Hopton, Gorleston and Lowestoft.

She said: “They’ve been training for the past year to prepare for this, competing in two or three competitions every month.

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“Karate is not funded by the government, but it’s a sport that when people get into it they have to have passion to get to this level.

“It’s not the first time we’ve won medals, but it is the first time we’ve won medals with such young students.

“Even the people who didn’t win medals, I’m really proud of them because they fought very well.

“As an instructor I was thrilled and very emotional about the students success and look forward to building on this in the future.”

Gold-medal winning 47-year-old, Ms Emmerson, thought she would never compete again after her hip replacement and said she owed a lot to the club.

She said: “I wasn’t expecting to win at all. I had no intentions of entering until the last minute because I was taking my son anyway and I thought I might as well give it a go, so to come away with gold I was really chuffed.

“The club has been amazing, I didn’t think I would ever compete again and I have had so much support from Vivianne, the club and the parents to go and do this. They’ve really been there for me and it’s such a lovely club to be in.”