WORLD CHAMPION Caitlín Malone from Westport.
Westport karate kid wins three golds at international championships
AN eleven-year-old Westport girl stunned martial-arts judges when she recorded a perfect score in one of her categories during the All Stars Specially Challenged Martial Arts Championships in Texas, where she won three gold medals.
Caitlín Malone competed in the Martial Arts Championships in Texas at the beginning of April and came home with gold medals in all of the categories she entered. The eleven year old not only beat all the competition, but did so in style and received a standing ovation for a score of three tens. She was the only person there to achieve a perfect score for the Weapons Kata Category, which is almost unheard of in martial arts championships.
Caitlín was entered into the Down Syndrome advanced girls’ karate division for Empty Hand Kata, Weapons Kata and Board Breaking.
The All Stars Specially Challenged Martial Arts Championships is the largest tournament in America, and the organisers praised Caitlín on her karate style, on her discipline and on her personality. They were impressed to learn that Caitlín trains in a mainstream Martial Arts School, The White Tigers Martial Arts Academy, Castlebar, and they called Caitlín an ambassador for her club, county and country.
Caitlín travelled to America with her mum, her younger brother Sam and her karate teacher, Mr Martin O’Malley. In 2012, Mr O’Malley won the Down Syndrome Helping Hands Annual award for Mainstream Inclusive Training Club, where Caitlín trains. Her mum, Kath Malone, thanked all in the White Tigers Martal Arts Academy for their work and support.
“Thanks especially to Martin O’Malley for the past five years of training Caitlín in mainstream training and continually upping the game and moving her on to the next level. For coming to America to see Caitlín show how things are done in Ireland, thanks to Lorraine O’Malley and White Tigers club for making the homecoming celebrations happen.
“Arriving back with three gold medals is a massive achievement and one we will always be proud of, well done Caitlín, very well done,” she said.
There had been several months of fundraising to make this journey of a lifetime happen, and Kath wished to thank most sincerely all the people who helped support Caitlín.
“There are so many it’d be impossible to list all but no one will be less appreciated for not being mentioned, who gave their time, energy, effort and donations, specially Tadgh McNally (WRFM.ie), who promoted and supported every single fundraiser, even organising a fun quiz in T Bourke’s in March. Caitlín’s big brother Damian Malone who with Seán Quirke, climbed Croagh Patrick on a cold grey frosty March morning, Damian came down from the mountain with a donation from people who were impressed as to why he was there,” she said.
Kath also wished to thank Caitlín Woods for her personal support at fund raisers and also the Mayo Down Syndrome for their support; Alice Lennon, who opened her home up for a coffee morning; Brackloon school, which was among their first supporters; and Caitlín’s school, St Colmcille’s NS, The Quay, which had a free dress day with all the pupils, teachers and staff joining in. She is also grateful to all who sponsored a prize, donated baskets (Josephine Walsh and Elsie Higgins) and eggs (Marlenes Chocolate Haven); the shops who let them sell lines for the Easter Basket raffles, Tesco (Stephen Corrigan), SuperValu (Liam Campion) and Centra (The Quay and Seán Hoban); Lynne in Curiosity and all the shops who gave the fantastic prizes for the various raffles.
“Thank you, each and every one of you who helped this journey happen, you are deeply appreciated,” Kath said.
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