Zen Chi Ryu Kempsey sent away 22 of its students to compete and officiate at the Coffs Harbour Championships, and nearly all of them returned home with a medal or trophy.
Despite being the first competition back after COVID-19 restrictions saw all their previous events cancelled, head instructor Debbie Swanson says her students performed exceptionally.
"This was our first tournament since 2019, so even our seasoned competitors were a bit nervous going in," she said.
"Everyone did exceptionally well under pressure; I'm very proud of everyone who competed, especially considering half had never done it before.
"We had a few come first in their divisions, but most of our students came away with at least a placing."
Competitors ranged in age from 7 up to adult, and participated in their Karta, weapons divisions and different kinds of live sparring.
After their success at Coffs Harbour, Debbie hopes to keep the momentum going at the next competition in August.
"Before COVID-19, we were going away to roughly five tournaments a year, but unfortunately, we haven't been able to do that for a while," Debbie said.
"Our next competition was supposed to be in Newcastle, but it was cancelled due to its proximity to Sydney, and the ongoing COVID situation.
"Everything is slowly starting to get back to normal though; we have our next tournament on August 1 in Port Macquarie."
Debbie Swanson has been operating her Zen Chi Ryu in Kempsey for the last 15 years and is always happy to take on new students.
For more information about the club, visit the dojo at 2-1 John St, Kempsey or call Debbie on: 0402 233 531.
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