LOCAL karate enthusiasts turned heads during the 2013 Australian Schools/University Championship and the Australian Open in Sydney last weekend.
Chesley Yee (Nadi), Makoto Racika (Nadi), Sakaraia Racika (Nadi), Braelynn Yee (Nadi) Senia Mua (Nadi) and Aisha Rafiq (Lautoka) represented the nation in the two events.
They were joined by Sandip Pala and Jasmine Rafiq who are studying in Australia.
During the Australia Open, Yee won a gold medal in the kumite individual male junior's under-55 category.
In the Australia Schools/University Championship, Pala won gold in the kata individual male open category while Jasmine won gold in the female event.
Karate Nadi president Anthony Mason said despite the lack of resources the locals did well.
He said they had a small club but the commitment shown by the participants was overwhelming.
"We are thankful to the parents of our club members who showed commitment to send our selected karatekas to represent us at this established international events," Mason said.
"They enjoyed the trip and it was a learning experience. We are also thankful to a lot of people and organisations in Sydney and also to Air Pacific."
"Karate Nadi has big plans for the 2014 Australian Open whereby we are committed to send many more of our deserving and hardworking karatekas."
Australian Schools/University Championship: Kumite Individual Female Juniors U53 and U59kg merged Aisha Rafiq-silver; Kumite Individual Male Cadets U52kg Sakaraia Racika-bronze; Kumite Individual Male Juniors U55 and U61kg merged Chesley Yee bronze; Kumite Individual Male Juniors U76 and 76kg merged Makoto Racika-bronze; Kumite individual male seniors U68kg Sandip Pala-silver; Kata individual male open Sandip Pala-gold; Kata individual female open Jasmine Rafiq-gold.
Australian Open: Kata Individual Female Children Braelynn Yee-bronze; Kata Individual Male Juniors Chesley Yee-bronze; Kumite Individual Female Children U43kg Braelynn Yee bronze; Kumite Individual Male Cadets U52kg Sakaraia Racika-bronze; Kumite Individual Male Juniors U55kg Chesley Yee-gold; Kumite Individual Male Juniors U76kg Makoto Racika-bronze; Kata individual female U21 Jasmine Rafiq -Silver; Kumite individual male U21 Sandip Pala-bronze; Kata individual male U21 Sandip Pala-silver.