Ashlea Ramasamy, chief instructor Takahashi Shihan, Antonio Priolo and Alicia France performed outstandingly at the recent world championships. Picture: Pasco Constantino
Geraldton has no shortage of international karate champions, with several locals recently representing Australia at the International Shotokan Karate Federation World Shoto Cup in South Africa. Alicia France (seniors), Antonio Priolo (juniors) and Ashlea Ramasamy (juniors) all performed outstandingly for their country, with Australia causing a degree of surprise at the titles. Priolo, who competed in the junior component of the titles, received three gold medals (individual fighting, individual kata and team kata). Ramasamy received a bronze medal in her individual kata event, and a gold medal in the team fighting. France received bronze medals in the individual kata and team fighting, coupled with a gold medal in the senior women’s team kata. Local instructor Pasco Costantino, who travelled with the team, was immensely proud of their efforts. “The titles are held every four years,” he said. “We had a big contingent of juniors (11) made up of the 29 people who went.” The women’s senior team backed up their inaugural display at the 2012 world titles, much to the delight of Costantino. “The women’s senior team’s first appearance at the world titles was in the Philippines back in 2012 — and they won,” he said.
“We thought the next titles would be a lot tougher. “To their credit, they did it backto-back. It was extraordinary what they achieved.” France, Priolo and Ramasamy are all incredibly dedicated to their craft. While others may be out socialising, they are regularly training — perfecting a craft where learning never ceases. “It’s something you can never stop learning about,” France said. “I say it’s more like a way of life, rather than a sport. “Karate teaches you all sorts of aspects of discipline which you can translate into everyday life.” Constantino said, “For me personally, my biggest buzz is seeing these guys achieve. “It makes everything worthwhile. “Most of their friends are probably out at the beach or having a good time, yet they are training. “That’s their commitment to training which everyone must abide by (if they wish to succeed long-term).”
"Karate teaches you all sorts of aspects of discipline which you can translate into everyday life." Alicia France