Carrick karate kids kick competition to the curb

Maybole's Jack Connelly and Girvan's  Briony  Farrell and  Daniel Lundy (front row left to right) were among the successful TKS Team.
Maybole's Jack Connelly and Girvan's Briony Farrell and Daniel Lundy (front row left to right) were among the successful TKS Team.

MARTIAL arts enthusiasts from Carrick have beaten off their opponents to secure more than 20 medals in a recent tournament.

Three youngsters from Girvan and Maybole were among the 12 competitors in Team TKS who attended the Kilmarnock Open tournament on Sunday, August 26.

The trio’s martial arts training in Carrick’s two main towns is part of family-run TKS Martial Arts and Fitness, which is based in Ayr.

The TKS Team has tripled in size since the last time they competed and, armed with a brand new uniform, their combined talent was reflected in the group’s medal haul of 11 gold, two silver and nine bronze.

Maybole’s Jack Connolly, 11, secured a bronze medal in his category, despite the Kilmarnock Open being only his first tournament.

His mum, Jill Barbour, said: “It is a great experience for him and the other members.

“TKS gives them something to focus on; it’s a good habit. They have all got their aims and the coaches there are like family.”

For Girvan boy Daniel Lundy, aged seven, the Kilmarnock Open was also his first major tournament since beginning TKS aged four. Mum Samantha said: “They were absolutely fantastic and they had been practising hard for it twice a week. It was a big experience for Daniel and he really enjoyed it. Now he’s looking forward to the next one.”

For seven-year-old Briony Farrell, who has since been awarded her brown belt, the tournament was her third. She began going to TKS classes in Girvan four years ago, following in her older sister Leanne’s footsteps, and began competing last year.

Her mother, Sharon Blackstock, said: “It is quite an achievement for her age but she kind of grew up with it. At that age it is really about experience. But she now has her sights set on a medal!”

Buoyed by their success, four members of Team TKS are now training hard in preparation for the world championships later this year.

Zak Page, Luke Thorpe, Nathan Nelson and Finlay Wright will travel to the Netherlands to participate in the tournament, which takes place from October 30 to November 4.

Anyone interested in sponsoring any of the team should contact TKS school owner Corinne Thorpe on 01655 889977.

TKS’s Carrick classes run in Maybole Town Hall each Wednesday at 4.30pm, and in Girvan’s South Parish Church on Tuesday and Thursdays from 5pm. The full timetable can be found at

Image shows TKS members, back row, left to right: Nathan Nelson, Richard Denton, Ross Bufton and Luke Thorpe. Middle row, left to right: Wendy Roulstone, Jade Pryde, Finlay Wright, Zak Page and Kris Graham. Front row, left to right: Jack Connelly, Briony Farrell and Daniel Lundy.