Burnfoot hosts 16th annual UKF International karate tournament

Ulster Karate-Do Federation karate-kas who took part in the recent UKF International Invitational tournament at Aileach Youth and Community Centre in Burnfoot.Ulster Karate-Do Federation karate-kas who took part in the recent UKF International Invitational tournament at Aileach Youth and Community Centre in Burnfoot.
Ulster Karate-Do Federation karate-kas who took part in the recent UKF International Invitational tournament at Aileach Youth and Community Centre in Burnfoot.
​Sixteen karate federations from Scotland, England and all corners of Ireland travelled to Burnfoot to compete in the Ulster Karate-Do Federation’s (UKF) 16th annual Invitational Tournament last weekend.

The event, which was held in the Aileach Youth and Community Centre, involved more than 150 competitors including reigning world and European champions Charlie Collins and Leon Gordon from England, Niamh Conway from Scotland, and Erin McCole from Ireland (UKF). There were kumite and kata categories for children, cadets, seniors and veterans. Also included were categories for inclusive karate-ka and traditional weapons displays.

Topping the gold medals table at the event was Karate England with 14 gold (8 silver and 6 bronze), followed closely by the host federation (UKF) with 11 gold (17 silver and 21 bronze) and Dublin’s GMAC Karate with six gold (7 silver and 7 bronze).

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Sensei Mandy McNulty, from the World Union of Karate-Do Federations’ Referee Commission, was Chief Referee for the event, supported by WUKF Chief Referees, Sensei Vivianne Trorey and Sensei Columba McLaughlin, and referees and judges from England and throughout Ireland.

The referees, judges and officials at the 16 UKF Invitational Tournament pictured with Sensei Mandy McNulty, Chief Referee, (seated, front) with Denis Donaghey UKF and Aileach Karate Club (seated third from left seated), Sensei Columba McLaughlin (seated third from right) and Sensei Vivianne Trorey (seated second from right).The referees, judges and officials at the 16 UKF Invitational Tournament pictured with Sensei Mandy McNulty, Chief Referee, (seated, front) with Denis Donaghey UKF and Aileach Karate Club (seated third from left seated), Sensei Columba McLaughlin (seated third from right) and Sensei Vivianne Trorey (seated second from right).
The referees, judges and officials at the 16 UKF Invitational Tournament pictured with Sensei Mandy McNulty, Chief Referee, (seated, front) with Denis Donaghey UKF and Aileach Karate Club (seated third from left seated), Sensei Columba McLaughlin (seated third from right) and Sensei Vivianne Trorey (seated second from right).

UKF President, Columba McLaughlin, said: “The UKF would like to thank everyone who played any part in making this year’s event such a tremendous success. We were privileged to have Sensei Mandy McNulty, from the WUKF Referee Commission, as Chief Referee, and the support of Sensei Vivianne Trorey and the many referees and judges who travelled from England all over Ireland.

“It was encouraging to see such a good spread of medals across the federations who attended the invitation-only event, and that all federations that participated in the tournament achieved a medal place.” he added.

For the first time the organisation of the event was supported by software automation to improve the experience of competitors, supporters and officials.

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Sensei McLaughlin said: “The introduction of the Uventex platform provided live online notifications of how competitors were progressing in their category and allowed for family members, who were at home, to monitor competitors’ progress in real time. Competitors could easily log on to their devices and find out the estimated time of their category and on which of the four competition areas it would take place. Feedback from parents and coaches was very positive regarding the provision of real-time information.”

The Ulster Karate-Do Federation squad is now in preparation for the WUKF-Ireland National Championship in June and for the World Union of Karate-Do Federation’s European Championship in Poland in October 2024.