The Club Championships has become a major event in the calendar, providing an opportunity for both experienced and novice competitors to try their skills in a competitive environment. Six categories of kata (pre-arranged solo forms) and kumite (one-on-one sparring) were contested. Proceedings were overseen by tournament referee, Martyn Skipper and assisted by Andy Allwood, Ian Marsden, Katie Keppie and Richard Swann. This year’s newcomers were first, in the 5-7 year old mixed kumite event. The competitors showed remarkable skill and maturity although they have only been practising karate for a few months. The final was contested between 5 year old Benjamin Breakspere and Sophia Pilkington, 7, with Sophia taking the title. Joint bronze was between Abigail Kehoe, 6 and Angus McIver, 5. Junior kata saw a large entry and was a difficult event to judge with competitors ranging from 5 year old novice to 12 year old brown belt. Competitors were judged on performance according to age and ability. The title finally went to Abigail Kehoe aged 6, with Angus McIver taking silver for his second trophy of the day. Amy McDougall, 6, and newly-promoted brown belt, 12 year old James Foggo shared bronze. The female kumite final pitted 14 year old Imogen Skipper, orange belt against yellow belt Molly Nelligan, 13. The girls are friends and neighbours, but the match was fought with the passion and vigour of rivals. The exciting final ended 8-6 to Imogen. Bronze went to veteran black belt Katie Keppie. Senior kata was next. Bronze position was shared between Irvin Dickinson, brown belt and Imogen Skipper, for her second podium place of the day. The final was between Sam Comer and Richard Swann. Sam, having earned his black belt just the previous week, was riding a wave and the judges unanimously ruled in Sam’s favour. The junior boys’ kumite event was fought in two pools. The group runners-up James Foggo and Lewis Campbell-Smith took joint bronze. The final pitted 13 year old black belt Sam Comer against 12 year old Lydon Hulley. Sam gave away a significant height advantage to Lydon, but made up for it with experience, taking the title 4 points to 1. For the second year running Lydon was runner-up. Sam’s gold placed him one better than in 2010 when he took runner up silver. The adult kumite was the final event of the afternoon. Joint third were veterans Irvin Dickinson and Ian Marsden. Finalist were14 year old Ben Comer - who passed his black belt alongside his younger brother, Sam last week - and Bolton GP, Dr Richard Swann. Not to be outdone by his sibling Ben was victorious over Richard, to give the Comer family another gold. Sam and Ben have featured in every club championships since their inauguration in 2006. The championships were judged a success by the spectators and competitors who are eagerly awaiting next year’s event. Organiser and head referee Martyn Skipper thanked officials Andy Allwood, Ian Marsden, Katie Keppie and event medic Richard Swann. Gratitude was also expressed to table officials Olivia Skipper and Jac Nelligan.