The Three Rivers Shotokan Karate Club, Lifford was well represented at the Scottish International Open Championships last weekend. Members of the club travelled to the Medowbank Sports Complex, Edinburgh to compete as part of the JKS Ireland team. Around 400 competitors from all over the world attended the event.
The weekend was a huge success for the Lifford club, as members Emma Dolan and Jamie-Lee Simpson took home bronze in both their respective categories. The tournament was a learning experience for the club as they prepare for the JKS World Championships, which will take place in Glasgow this September.
Fresh from winning a bronze Kumite medal at the 2016 Wado-Kai Federation Ireland International Open Karate Championships, Jamie-Lee Simpson added another bronze medal to her ever-growing collection.
“The tournament was amazing and I really loved the experience. The highlight of the experience for me was just being able to get there and have the chance to fight with people from all over the world.” said Jamie-Lee.
After intense preparations for the Scottish Open, the young girl is wasting no time and already has set her sights on the next goal for her sporting career.
“My next aim is to compete in the World Championships in Glasgow representing JKS Ireland in September and hopefully I can pick up a medal. I train with my club four times a week and also two days at home. I take Sunday’s off if I have no competitions on. My couch Martin McNamee is very dedicated and puts a lot of time into training and preparing us.”
Jamie Lee got involved in karate from a young age when she watched her cousin, and when she was old enough, she started to train and hasn’t looked back since.
“I enjoy keeping fit and I also enjoy the skill of karate. I loved watching my cousin, Nicol do karate and couldn’t wait until I was old enough to start. Although, I never imagined I would be representing my country or even going to the world championships!”
As Jamie-Lee is enjoying her success on the mat, her mother Orla looks on nervously from the crowd supporting her every step of the way.
“I’ve never felt so many different emotions at the one time before, until I seen her fight for the first time and it never gets any easier either,” said Orla.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of her. She works so hard and loves every minute of it. It makes me so happy knowing she is doing what she loves. Karate is her life.”