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CBS teen receives black belt and medals at karate championships in Arizona

Claire Hutchings of CBS won three medals at her first international karate tournament held in Arizona last month.

By Olivia Bradbury / Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A Grade 11 student at Queen Elizabeth High in CBS put in an impressive showing at her first international karate tournament.

Claire Hutchings travelled to Arizona to participate in the 2024 Budo National Traditional Karate Championships.

“I started karate when I was about six,” said Hutchings. “I joined because my dad had his black belt at the time.”

She was excited as a child to start taking karate, she said, but admitted there have been ups and downs over the years. “But it hasn’t been necessarily a bad experience,” said Hutchings. “I’ve definitely learned a lot from it.”

Hutchings’ trip to Arizona was exciting in itself, the karate notwithstanding.

“It was actually my first time ever being on a plane or leaving Canada or Newfoundland,” she said. “So, it was a long trip for my first one, but I’m really glad that I went and I don’t have any regrets about it at all.”

The championships, which took place from May 24 to May 26, involved multiple events and competitions. Hutchings was graded for her black belt on the first day.
“It felt like I had finally achieved something big and, being in karate for so long, I was happy that I had finally gotten there,” she said.

On the third day of the tournament, competitions were held in Hutchings’ youth division. She ended up with a bronze medal in individual kata, a silver in team kata, and a gold in enbu, an award shared with a partner.

“I look forward to competing in other tournaments that are international where I can meet other people and just have other opportunities,” said Hutchings.

She will defend her wins in Texas next year and has earned the right to travel to Spain in October for the Traditional Karate Budo World Cup.

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