Karate ace Katie takes gold in first international competition Friday 8 November 2013 General News Sixth Form An upper sixth student at The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) has made a strong start to her international karate career, taking a European title in her first competition representing England. Katie Godfrey took gold in the age 15-17 category at the European Championships of the World Union of Karate-do Organizations (WUKF), held last month in Sheffield. A member of Garforth Shukokai Karate Club, Katie took up karate at the age of nine. Since being selected for England she has had to fit in a busy training schedule with the squad, alongside studying for her A-levels. Already a seasoned competitor at regional and national level, for Katie the European championships were her first international competition. She explains that she enjoys the Shotokan style of karate as it involves both sparring and kata, which is a choreographed pattern of movements which have to be completed correctly. In competition marks are awarded for performance, and Katie said: “I felt really nervous especially as I was last on the mat for each round of the competition. I was in joint second place going into the final, and decided to take a gamble with a kata that doesn’t usually win competitions. “How you do it on the day is what counts, and luckily it paid off – my instructor said it was the best I’d ever done it! Success at the European championships, which involved 1200 participants from 21 countries, has inspired Katie to aim even higher for her next competition – she’s back in training with a view to qualifying for the world championships.