THE Lymington and New Milton-based Southern England Karate Federation (SEKF) are looking to take the next step after tasting international success.
SEKF was set up in 1993, and over time it has grown exponentially. Sixth-dan sensei Collin Rudkin and fifth- dan sensei Danny Rudkin teach 200 children from across the New Forest which includes elite athletes who compete in national and international competitions.
Collin believes their success comes from their elite training program which was set up to help his students advance to the world stage.
He told the A&T: “I set up an elite training program three years ago in which, if they wanted, they could do extra training, look at their diet and get physios to come in. The athletes get home training programmes as well.
“Since we have started that, the level shot up. Instead of getting one or two athletes, we ended up with five in the England squad. We have only ever had three athletes in the England squad before in 1998.
“This program has been the key to success. I sponsor three of the athletes, which includes all of their training, so all they need to do is put in the hard work.”
Collin’s daughter Carla Rudkin-Guillen has shone on the world stage in 2020.
She picked up two gold medals for England in the Berlin International Open Kata Championships earlier this year and has one eye on the 2022 Junior Olympics in Dakar, Senegal.
Carla was proud of her performances at the championships but is looking to improve in future events this year: “It felt really good to bring home two golds.
“To get one in the U14s and the U16s kata it felt amazing. “I would love to get golds throughout this year and really push my kumite and get a medal at international levels.”
With a packed schedule coming up for SEKF, the club is looking for new sponsors to help support the elite athletes.
Collin said: “We have been looking for a local or national company to come in and be part of our brand as well so we can advertise their brand through our success. And in return, if they can support the athletes to compete internationally and to support them financially.”
For more information on sponsoring an athlete, call Collin on 07966 303585 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.