SKERRIES Karate Club recently held black belt grading exams in the town's dojo.Four applications were received and assessments had been ongoing since the summer, with Christivan and Juvan Maritz from Balrothery and students of Skerries Community Schoool among those assessed. Originally from South Africa, Christivan and Juvan had previously attained the brown belt ranking with W.S.K.F. in their home country and joined Skerries Karate Club to further their studies when they moved to Ireland. Both have been training in Skerries and Balbriggan and have represented North Fingal at national and international level. Multiple national champion and international champion Abbie Beggs was also assessed on the day and the Skerries native attends the Community College as well as national Squad training, and joining those being assessed was Bernard Cruise. Alan O'Kelly, who trained to 1st kyu level in the 1990s with the club, is now back home in Skerries having worked abroad, and was also on the mat on the day. He had spent some time in Japan, studied Chinto-Ryu in the Tokyo area and reaffirmed his connection with the Skerries Karate Club upon his return. All who were graded are excellent ambassadors for Shotokan karate and the instructor panel and component institutions proudly conferred on Christivan, Juvan, Abbie and Alan the honourable rank of Sho-Dan, or black belt.