New Milton karate star Carla Rudkin-Guillen receives England call-up days after brother’s death
NEW Milton’s Carla Rudkin-Guillen’s latest call-up to the England ranks came as a light at the end of a tunnel, days after losing her brother, Luke Rudkin.
The Brockenhurst College student will feature for England for the fourth time – her first in the U18s – at the Junior European Karate Championships in Georgia in 2024.
At the start of December, Carla and Collin Rudkin, her father and coach, were in Venice, Italy, to compete at a WKF Youth K1 event.
The talented martial artist was in high spirits and expecting a good result after an impressive showing in her last outing at the Spanish Karate League grand final in Malaga the week before.
Collin Rudkin, Carla and Luke’s dad said: “The same evening we arrived in Venice, I received the phone call that is every parent’s nightmare. My son Luke, who is Carla’s older brother, had suddenly been taken from us.
“We took the first flight home to the UK the following morning.”
Luke was a supporter of his little sister, and one of many fond memories they have is of the Commonwealth Karate Championships in 2022, where he and fellow siblings Ellie-Marie and Danny spent the weekend in Birmingham watching her claim gold.
Collin continued: “As a family, we were devastated, and one of my many concerns was how this would affect Carla as my youngest child of four and whether she would find the strength or even the desire to compete again.
“A couple of days later, when we were at Luke’s home going through his possessions, I received a telephone call from the England coach informing me that Carla had been selected to represent England at the forthcoming European championships in Georgia at the beginning of February.
“This positive news at Carla’s brother’s house completely changed her attitude, and she felt it was a sign from Luke for her to get back into training. Carla started her training the next day and is really focused, which is incredible.
“I am so proud of her strength and resilience at such a sad time.”
Carla will compete in the junior female kata event, a form of karate in which a competitor is judged on their form rather than sparring against a competitor.