Norton makes mark on World

THE World Karate Championships held recently in Edinburgh, Scotland, proved to be a massive success for one Irish student.

Josh Norton, of Sandford Park School in Ranelagh, came home with a bronze medal around his neck in what was a truly monumental achievement.

For Josh, the award was the culmination of seven years of training and participation in various competitive challenges, including four National Championships. Japanese Karate Shoto-remni, or JKS for short, is an Olympic class event that tests both kata skills and physical sparring.

As a black belt, Josh says he is particularly competitive in the sparring bouts, and aspires to hone his skills in both areas in preparation for representing Ireland in the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.

As part of the Irish JKS Squad, Josh took part in dozens of prelimanary and elimination rounds over the course of the two-day event. The under 16 team was able to triumph over dozens of other countries including the United States, Russia, Germany and Canada.

Now in his fourth year in Sandford Park School, Josh acknowledges how the sport of karate has taught him focus, self-discipline and also fostered in him a healthy competitive spirit. “The sport for me is something that will benefit me for the rest of my life,” he said.

He says that he is also grateful for the help and support of both his sensei, Scott Langley, and especially, his mum, Anna Maria.

Brother race to clear away the cobwebs

SCHOOLS with a strong athletics tradition, including St Aidan’s CBS Whitehall, Belvedere College, Blackrock College, CBC Monkstown, Coláiste íosagáin and Coláiste Eoin, have signed up for next Wednesday’s Brother Clonliffe Schools Cross-Country in Santry (12.30pm).

In only its third year, the Brother cross-country has already become the unofficial “season opener” giving athletes the chance to test their fitness after the long summer. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Brother Ireland, all finishers receive a souvenir t-shirt, while the best school on the day is presented with valuable Brother office equipment and the Larro Byrne Memorial Shield.

Among those expected to make an impact next Wednesday are Kevin Dooney of CBC Monkstown, the defending champion, who will take on Ian Guiden (St Aidan’s) and Fintan Doherty (Castleknock College) in the senior boys’ 5000m.

Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (pictured), from Coláiste íosagáin, is expected to retain her intermediate girls’ title. The days starts with races for primary schools boys and girls before moving on to the secondary programme.

Fitzsimons raises flag for Loreto Dalkey

Dublin defender and All-Ireland winner Michael Fitzsimons is not known for letting many white flags being raised in his time on the playing fields, but the Active School flag will be one he will be remembered for raising at Loreto Dalkey.

Like most of Dublin’s squad, Fitzsimons has been everywhere parading the Sam Maguire in the last few weeks.

But the Cuala man was still able to take time out from his busy schedule for this most important ceremony where, in front of dedicated coaches Stephen Cahill and Jane Coyne, along with a thronged gathering of students, he officially raised the green flag.

Loreto Dalkey became the first Dublin school to receive the flag which was given in recognition to its overall approach to the physical promotion of health.

Holding just over 600 pupils, the school has been traditionally known for hockey and basketball, but in recent times has made significant inroads into the sports of table tennis, tennis, swimming and showjumping.

Fitzpatrick the star for Mercy Coolock’s U16s

Sarah Fitzpatrick led the scoring for Mercy Coolock’s under 16s as they deateted Alexandra College 39-15 with Tia Kelly also showing well with 10 points.

The seniors were also on top of their game with Nyla Abdulla (20 points) and Fitzpatrick (13 points) their two top scorers. Rebecca O'Reilly top-scored for Alex with ten points.