A CLYDEBANK club is aiming high after success at the Scottish Karate Championships.

Kokusai Karate Club won six medals in total at the national competition across several different age groups.

Oliva Cuthbertson took gold in the 12-13 age group, Louise Smith finished first in the under-21 category, Hannah Benson took both gold and silver across different competitions at senior level while Adam Jess won two bronzes in the male seniors.

And Billy Haggarty, who is the head coach of the club, explained how the group has been working its way back to the top after the pandemic derailed their momentum.

He said: "I have been practising karate for 47 years. I am a national coach for Scotland, on the refereeing commission and I am the second-highest qualified referee in Scotland.

"It is a hobby for me, but it has taken over my life. The club died a bit of a death after Covid as a lot of competitors stopped competing.

"This is us just starting to build back up again. We aim to increase the number of medals each year going forward.

Clydebank Post:

"We have two members up for selection at the under-21 world championships in November, so we are hoping for success with them."

Lee Cuthbertson, dad of Olivia, detailed the success his daughter has achieved so far and her ambitions for the future.

"Up until about aged eight or nine she was doing the club competitions that were quite small and for the kids," he added.

"She won medals in that. It really kicked off when she won the Scottish Championships aged nine.

"Her success from then has gone through the roof, more recently she has been competing in Sweden, Italy, Spain and all over Europe winning medals.

"She loves the competitive side of the sport. It is currently a major part of her life.

Clydebank Post:

"She loves the discipline and physicality of it as well. We also recently filled out her application for the World Championships that take place later this year in July.

"The national selection brings with it the opportunity to compete at both the European and World Championships. That is her short-term goal, she is desperate to get the selection."

Kokusai Karate Club train at Clydebank Leisure Centre on Tuesday between 6.30pm and 7.30pm for U12s and Friday between 7.30pm and 9.30pm for aged 13 and over.