A Sports Therapy student has won a silver medal at the World Karate Championships in Florida.
David Wilks, 18, from Saltash, started karate when he was just seven after he was bullied as a child.
He said: “My parents decided I needed to feel confident that I could defend myself and karate helped tremendously.”
David trains three times a week with the Bujinkai Karate Association in across the South West, in Ivybridge, Saltash and Plymouth Life Centre.
Now an elite sport scholar at the University of St Mark & St John, David combines his academic studies with training at an elite level.
He explained why he chose a Marjon scholarship: “The facilities here at Marjon are amazing and I’m now using the sports science lab and the gym, passing my knowledge in to others.
“Karate isn’t the most popular or well-known of sports, so I didn’t know if I’d have a chance to get a scholarship, but I was persuaded by my Mum, and if I hadn’t been, I probably wouldn’t have been standing on the podium at the World Championships. I’m glad I was persuaded because it now means, not only can I develop and continue to pursue my competitive career, I can also represent Marjon, my association and my country in the martial art that I love.”
Stan Cinnamond, Director of Sport at Marjon said: “We’re delighted in David’s recent successes at the World Championships and look forward to seeing many more great things from him as he progresses through his university and sporting career.”
Asked what it takes to be a world medallist David said: “You have to be self motivated and dedicated to putting in the time, specifically with the fitness and you also need to be your own biggest critic, particularly with the artistic side of the Karate called ‘Kata’.”
Describing the secret of his success, he said: “You develop so much of a passion for the martial art that you don’t want to be away from it. In Florida I was excited to compete and meeting everyone from the England squad was amazing.
“The events can be long-winded and you have a lot of time to get nervous, but when it came to the fighting aspect of it, also known as ‘kumite’, I was straight into it, so I didn’t have time to think about it.
“I’m really pleased to win silver especially as this was my first international tournament, where obviously the standard is much higher.”
David competed in the under 65kg weight category. Over the next few months he will continue to train for national events and looks forward to competing in the World Championships again next year.
Back to Marjon News