MAC year 7 student Ryan Enoka won both of the premier gold medals in the Southland Otago Karate Championships held in Queenstown over Labour Weekend. He competed in the 12-13 year old boys premier division taking out Kata and Kumite with convincing wins. The Otago Southland competition is the final Southern regional tournament of the year with athletes from throughout the South Island competing.
Enoka has been doing karate for seven years and is now a brown belt. Like other athletes and artists from Wānaka, extensive travel is required each week with just as much parental commitment for driving as child commitment for training. Enoka and his younger brothers all travel to Cromwell and Queenstown each week to train as Wānaka’s dojo closed last year after the sudden death of Enoka’s beloved and very respected Sensei Chris McGregor.
Enoka is now trained by Sensei Rhys McGregor and Sensei Gabriela Schmidt (tournament coach). Training requires serious commitment with up to five hours in the dojo each week with many extra hours at home — plus fitness training.
Enoka has his sights set high. He was invited into a Canterbury 11-13 year boys team and they won a silver medal at nationals on Team Kumite. This was his first medal in a national level tournament. He is now working hard with the goal of medalling in the NZ open and nationals tournaments.