St. Mary’s student targeting World title

St. Mary's College Year 11 student Caitlin Toland pictured being cheered off by fellow students and Mr. Declan Sweeney ahead of her journey to the WKU World Championships in Athens, Greece next week. (Photo: Jim McCafferty Photography)
St. Mary's College Year 11 student Caitlin Toland pictured being cheered off by fellow students and Mr. Declan Sweeney ahead of her journey to the WKU World Championships in Athens, Greece next week. (Photo: Jim McCafferty Photography)

St. Mary’s College student Caitlin Toland leaves next week for the WKU Martial Arts World Championships in Athens, Greece and has high hopes of bringing the -60kg title back to Derry.

Galliagh girl Caitlin, a Year 11 student at the Northland Road College, is looking forward to the journey to Greece and is also confident of claiming a world title. She presently holds the English and UK belts and now feels a World belt is within her grasp.

The WKU World Championships 2018 is the premium tournament for the disciplines of forms, Karate Kumite, Pointfighting, Light Contact, Full Contact and Kickboxing with Lowkicks. It brings together the strongest women and men of modern and traditional martial arts.

Fighting out of the Top Ring Gym, Strand Road, the young Derry kickboxer has only been competing for two years in the sport and trains under the guidance of coach Uel Murphy.

Affectionately known as ‘Bambi’, Caitlin will take part in the four-day tournament and could face up to 10 opponents if she is to come away with the title.

“I’m looking forward and confident I can take the -60kg title. I now have the experience of taking part in last year’s Worlds in Killarney and gained considerable experience since then. I’ve fought, and beat, the Celtic title holder, Belfast girl Rebecca Blake and now feel its time to step up and make my mark,” explained the St. Mary’s student.

College Vice Principal, Stephen Keown says all at the school are very proud of Caitlin and wish her all the best in her exploits in Greece.

Delighted to be able to help fund the young student’s participation in Athens, St. Mary’s PE teacher, Mrs. Jenni Martin, also endorsed those sentiments: ‘We are all incredibly proud of Caitlin and delighted to help sponsor her for this huge event. We always do our best to promote girls in sport and encourage lifelong participation in physical activity. Good luck Caitlin – we are all rooting for you!”

Caitlin leaves with the Ulster team next week for the Martial Arts World Championships carrying the hopes of the city in bringing back a world title.