Karate star to compete for English team in Japan

A RIPON Grammar School karate star is heading to Japan to compete in world championships.

When Samarth Dasarathi first started practising karate at five years old, it was his dream to compete for his country.

He found out recently that he’s been selected to represent the JKS England team at the prestigious competition in the home of karate this summer, following a highly competitive selection process involving a series of regional and international competitions.

The 18-year-old said he was stunned when he first heard the news, then screamed with excitement: “I am so happy to have been selected as training with and competing against world champions has been a dream for many years.”

Samarth, from Burton Leonard, says that, win or lose, it will be a valuable experience: “I’m in awe of the competitors I will be facing, there’s such a massive potential to learn from them, regardless of the outcome.”

The teenager, who has been learning Japanese to give him further insight into the martial art, says he is not a natural athlete and had to work hard to master the skills required to achieve the black belts which have allowed him to join the ranks of the country’s elite karate competitors.

In addition to spending more than six hours a week on karate training Samarth, who hopes to study mechanical engineering at university, teaches younger students and is a member of RGS’s Big Band and guitar ensemble.

*The JKS England squad, which competes in national and international competitions, is run by national coach Matt Price and Nick Heald, based in Leeds. Visit www.jksengland.com