Danielle Smith
Danielle Smith

Girls take on Australia's best

TWO 16-year-old Lismore girls will find out how they stack up nationally at the Australian Open karate championships in Melbourne this weekend.

Local black belts Danielle Smith and Josephine Gardner-Marlin started karate training in primary school for fun.

Like many students from Lismore’s Success Martial Arts Black Belt Academy they developed a passion for the non-contact sport and have been training ever since.

Competition will be tough at the Australian Open, which brings together the highest-achieving martial arts exponents.

The girls will compete in different divisions in the 16/17 years sparring (kumite) weight events and could also end up competing head-to-head in the 16/17 years open weight.

“It has taken more than 10 years of hard work and perseverance for these girls to get to this stage in their karate careers and I’m proud and confident of their potential,” the girls’ coach and Josephine’s father Richard Marlin said.

Danielle, a Year 10 student at Richmond River High School, came second at the national championships in Perth two years ago and has been the National All Styles champion for the past two years.

Josephine, a Year 10 student at Trinity Catholic College, came third in the national championships in Adelaide last year and has twice won silver medals.



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