Siblings tipped for top karate honours

IPSWICH Shotokan Karate Club chief instructor Jon Donohoe has hailed the club's sibling duo of Leah and Josh Godbold as England squad members in waiting.

Stuart Watson

By Stuart Watson

IPSWICH Shotokan Karate Club chief instructor Jon Donohoe has hailed the club's sibling duo of Leah and Josh Godbold as England squad members in waiting.

At a recent black belt grading in Wellingborough, 13 year-old Leah passed her 1st Dan to catch up with her 10 year-old brother Jordan who had passed the same grading in Windsor last December.

Donohoe, a 3rd Dan himself, said: “If we can keep the fires burning with the two of them then they are certainly JKAE (Japanese Karate Association England) national squad members in the waiting.

“As a club we make a point of not putting our members forward for trials until they have gained their black belt.

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“However, now they are both at that stage, I think they are more than ready. At the recent grading we saw some of the current England squad training and Leah and Jordan could have stepped straight into that team.”

The brother and sister pairing first started karate three and a half years ago when they joined their father at Ipswich Shotokhan Karate Club.

Since then they have flown up through the gradings due, not only to their commitment to club training, but also to attending additional weekend training camps all over the country.

Donohoe said: “The two of them are so dedicated, they train four times a week with me but if we could train eight days a week I think they would.”

Leah's 1st Dan grading was just one part of a hugely successful grading for Donohoe's club in Wellingborough.

After a gruelling days grading in front of Japanese 6th Dan instructor Sensei Ohta, the ISKC had by far the most successful pass rate for 2nd Dans for the day.

In assistant instructor Phillip Harrold, Kristian Donohoe and Andrew Reeve, all three of the Ipswich club's members attempting for their 2nd Dan passed.

Donohoe said: “To have the highest 2nd Dan pass rate of all the clubs there was a fantastic achievement considering our size compared to some of the big city clubs.

“The club is going through a real purple patch at present where everything we do we just seem to succeed.”

Ipswich Shotokan Karate Club train on Mondays and Tuesdays at Maidenhall Sports Centre from 7-8pm, Sidegate Lane Primary School on Thursdays from 7-8pm and on Sundays at Copleston Sports Centre from 10-11am. For more information on the club visit: www.iskc.net.

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