Wanaka’s very own karate kid Holly Wigg returned from her first world tournament with a ranking of 11th out of 80 competitors in her Kata division in Europe last month.
Sixteen-year-old Mount Aspiring College student Holly competed in the World Karate Federation Youth Cup in Umag, Croatia, from June 30 to July 2, among 2400 youth competitors from around the world.
Holly won her first round of the Kata female junior division against Italy, but was beaten to the top spot by Spain and Macedonia.
Caroline Wigg, Holly’s mum, said that it was a great opportunity for her to compete internationally.
“Holly is only just 16 and competed in the 16 to 17-year-olds division, coming 11th. So she could compete again next year and still be in that division. We’re really impressed with her ranking and Karate New Zealand was too. We think it’s a really good indicator of where she’s at,” Caroline said.
“It’s a lot harder to compete internationally because some of the girls over in Europe might take part in up to five tournaments a year, whereas we don’t have that opportunity here in New Zealand.”
Caroline added that the family would like to thank the Skeggs Foundation for awarding Holly a grant which allowed her to travel to the cup.
“Holly won the foundation’s international grant which funded her to go and try it out and see where she is at in the world. It also meant that one of us could go and watch her, which was great,” Caroline said.
“In all the years she has been doing karate we have never got to go and watch her internationally so that was really cool.”
Karate New Zealand’s secretary-general Chris Bennett said that the competition had given its competitors some much-needed experience.
“They have represented our country proudly,” Chris said.
Holly topped her international success on her return to New Zealand, scooping third place in Kata and Kumite for her age division at the National Karate Championships in Wellington on July 15 and 16.
She then went on to take fifth place overall in the women’s senior open Kata.
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