Dromore’s karate kids are world class

Dromore Karate Club are really putting the town on the map.

Dromore Karate Club Coach Liam Haslem with WKC World Championship competitors Reece Robinson, Christopher Cassells, Courtney Haslem and Bradley Montgomery ©Edward Byrne Photography INBL1522-204EB

Thanks to four budding young martial arts stars, Dromore played a key role in medal successes for Ulster at world level last week.

Bradley Montgomery, Reece Robinson, Christopher Cassells and Courney Haslem jetted off to Latvia to represent Ulster in the WKC Junior World Championships and brought the first ever world medals back to their club.

Competing amongst 19 countries, Reece Robinson brought home a fantastic silver medal after an impressive performance in the boys 11/12 years kata section. Bradley Montgomery, 11, meanwhile, picked up a bronze medal in the boys 11/12 years Kumite (fighting) class and Courtney Haslem also won a bronze in the girls 11/12 years event.

Christopher Cassells also competed in Kumite, narrowly missing out for a place in the medals with a sterling display.

An understandably proud Dromore Karate Club Coach Liam Haslem paid tribute to his ‘unbelievable’ competitors.

“I am extremely proud of all four of the club’s members,” he said.

“It is an achievement in itself to be selected to represent Ulster and to pick up three medals is unbelievable.

“This is fully deserved with all the hard work these kids have been through over the past six months and it is a huge testament to their commitment to Karate.”

It’s a landmark achievement for the local club as they begin to hit new heights, which Liam says could become the norm.

“It’s the first time the club have produced medalists at world level,” he confirmed. “It’s actually the first time we’ve sent juniors away to compete. We used to have a rule that nobody under age 13 would go away but we lifted that for these kids.

“We knew they had the potential to do well and that they were of a very high standard. They’ve put a lot of hard work in to do it. Usually we would have one performer that stands above the rest so we’re very lucky to have four at once.

“These guys can maintain this sort of level if they stay at the club. Christopher Cassells, who missed out on a medal, is actually the one that I would rate as our top performer. It just didn’t happen for him on the day but he and the other guys will be back to do this again.”

Dromore Karate Club train at Dromore High School on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9pm.