GOLDEN BOY

Eight-year-old Kai takes dou­ble prizes in Bri­tish Cham­pi­onships

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Back Page - Marc McLean

A Ruther­glen school­boy has taken the karate world by storm af­ter re­turn­ing from the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onships last week­end as a DOU­BLE gold medal­list.

Eight-year-old Kai Camp­bell was one of few who tasted glory at the event in Le­ices­ter Arena, which had more than 700 en­trants.

Mar­tial arts mae­stro Kai out­classed nearly 40 ta­lented young­sters in the age 7-9 and un­der 25kg cat­e­gory to be­come Bri­tish cham­pion.

And he was tri­umphant once again along­side Euan Bar­ton and Moaadh Has­san, his Glas­gow team-mates from Sa­tori Karate Club, in the team cham­pi­onship event.

It was a spe­cial mo­ment for Kai’s dad David, who was Scot­tish karate cham­pion in 1999 and won sev­eral other medals while com­pet­ing.

David, 31, who runs Sa­tori Karate Club and coaches hun­dreds of young­sters ev­ery week, said: “A lot of peo­ple in­volved in karate will never achieve a gold medal, never mind Kai win­ning two.

“The com­pe­ti­tion was tough but his con­fi­dence was clearly grow­ing af­ter he got early wins in the tour­na­ment.

“I just knew he was go­ing to get gold.

“Kai’s taken it all in his stride and I don’t think he quite re­alises how big an achieve­ment this is.

“He’s al­ready think­ing of the next com­pe­ti­tion in a few weeks’ time and has been pretty re­served about it all - which is a good thing be­cause when you start to get a big head, that’s when you start to lose.”

Kai first started karate train­ing aged three - around the same age his fa­ther picked up the sport.

Sa­tori Karate Club has grown into the big­gest karate or­gan­i­sa­tion in Glas­gow, with al­most 1000 mem­bers, and also teaches in schools in Glas­gow and South La­nark­shire.

Eight boys and seven girls from the club trav­elled to the cham­pi­onships in Le­ices­ter and they re­turned home with a to­tal of three gold, one sil­ver and four bronze medals.

Kai’s mum Stephanie said: “The par­ents of the kids drove

down sep­a­rately but we all stayed in the same ho­tel and were all sup­port­ing the kids.

“They all did fan­tas­tic. I’m so proud of Kai – I’m al­ways in his cor­ner when he comes off the mat!”

Karate was de­vel­oped in the Ryukyu King­dom, which later be­came part of Ja­pan, and is now pre­dom­i­nantly a strik­ing art us­ing punch­ing, kick­ing, knee strikes, el­bow strikes and open-hand tech­niques.

Dou­ble champ Kai Camp­bell sports his two

Top team The mem­bers of Sa­tori Karate Club who re­turned from the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onships with eight medals

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