Karate team focussed on world event

Nicolette BarbasHarvey-Waroona Reporter
The selected karatekas from Harvey, Josh Lavis,17, Sophia Tomas,13, Sarah Beltran, 17, Neveiah Parravicini,14, Rom Ursua, 19.
Camera IconThe selected karatekas from Harvey, Josh Lavis,17, Sophia Tomas,13, Sarah Beltran, 17, Neveiah Parravicini,14, Rom Ursua, 19.

Five Harvey karatekas have been training relentlessly in preparation for the Karate World Championships in London next year where they will represent Australia.

Rom Ursua, 19, Sarah Beltran, 17, Sophia Tomas, 13, Neveiah Parravicini, 14, and Josh Lavis, 17, took home more than just a colourful range of medals at the second TSKF Australasian Championships earlier in March, scoring themselves a slot in the 2020 Karate World Championships.

Sensei Paganini Ursua said that while the achievement was completely unexpected, he could not be prouder.

“After the event in New Zealand I was going to take a three year break and focus on my work and family,” he said.

“The students have worked and trained so hard for this, I am not about to give up now.

“I think we may be one of the first sporting clubs to have achieved gold for Harvey at a championship level,” he joked.

The oldest of the five, Rom Ursua, 19, said that while it was an honour to be representing Australia, he had to put his passion for the defence force on hold for the time being.

“I deferred joining the defence force in order to go to London next year,” he said.

“As an immigrant from the Philippines, this is something very important to me and I will be channelling all of my energy over the next few months to training hard so that I can bring home gold for Australia.”

With a height of just 150cm, Sarah said competing against taller opponents had not been easy, but she was ready to take on the challenge.

“My will and determination to be on the top of everyone in my category has led me to some of the most amazing victories in the past few years, I’m not giving up.”

Ursua said the team was training three times a week and would spend the next 15 months focusing on improving their skills in kata and kumite.

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