CARRICK martial arts enthusiasts have proved their mettle by competing in a top national competition - and winning - after only two months of training.
Team TKS began their tournament training this summer but have already earned an impressive competition record, with 20 medals secured at the Kilmarnock Open Tournament in August, and three bronze in the World Championships in the Netherlands in October.
But on October 31 Team TKS met perhaps its biggest achievement yet, with four of its members named Scottish Champions in the recent Scottish Open Tournament in Glasgow.
Maybole teen Zak Page was one of the new tournament champs, along with Finlay Wright from Troon and Cameron Reid from Ayr, while Girvan’s Richard Denton kept his title for the second year running.
“We had done pretty well in the Netherlands so I was expecting to do well, but not that well!” said Carrick Academy pupil Zak, 13. “It was great. Seeing some of the best fighters in the world was a great experience.”
Mum Maureen Dowie had travelled to Kelvin Hall to see her son in action for the first time, and said: “It was absolutely fantastic; I really enjoyed it. He just seemed so good! But he has taken it in his stride.”
Second-time Scottish Champion Richard Denton, 29, who only began martial arts tuition a little over a year ago when his children expressed an interest, said the Scottish Open result was a fitting tribute to Team TKS’ hard work.
“It says a lot about the club that we have quite a small tournament team but everything we go to we come away with something,” he said. “It’s a really successful school and I am proud to be part of it.”
The tournament team’s coach, 21-year-old Luke Thorpe, added: “I can’t believe that we did so well.
“We are such a small group at the moment and we were fighting with top teams there. Everyone did us proud.”
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.
If you would like more information on Team TKS, including the full timetable, or a free trial please call Corinne on 01655 889977 or visit the TKS website.
Pictured above are (back row left to right): Nathan Nelson, Richard Denton, Luke Thorpe, Jade Pryde, Wendy Roulstone, (front row left to right) Finlay Wright, Maybole’s Zak Page and Jack Connelly, Kris Graham, and Cameron Reid. Girvan boy Daniel Lundy, who had his tournament debut at the Kilmarnock Open, also competed but had to leave before the picture was taken.