May 252018

By Charlie Abel.

Aberdeen’s own National Karate Institute had more than just the luck of the Irish behind them on their recent trip to the Emerald Isle. Dedication and perseverance paid off.

They were representing the city on the world stage during the Belfast Open World Karate Championships held in Northern Ireland, on 29th of April 2018.

While many of us folks back home were tucking into our Sunday lunches and firing up the barbecues the Aberdeen athletes were burning off the calories and fighting their way through some really tough competition to win a staggering 34 medals.

The self-funded NKI enjoyed some great results bringing home 12 gold medals against fierce competition from the Irish and other countries. There were 16 different Karate Federations taking part.

Team coach and chief NKI instructor Ronnie Watt (9th Dan) (O.B.E. & Order of The Rising Sun) said:

“Our team were outstanding. I’m absolutely delighted! It’s a fantastic result. All the team have been training really hard, some since the age of 7. To get so many medals against such fierce and overwhelming competition from around the world is remarkable.

“We were heavily outnumbered and underfunded, but these results show we were not out-classed.

“For such a small club from a small country we proved we have what it takes, against all odds, and I am so proud we can deliver for Aberdeen and Scotland.

“It goes to show that Karate training really brings the best out of people. All our students were first class in my eyes. Medals or not. ”

Invitations for the NKI squad to perform and teach Karate have been coming in from around the world.

The NKF squad are back in training now and are aiming for success at the next festival, The International Karate Festival, which they will host themselves in Aberdeen this Summer.

Anyone interested in training Karate should call Aberdeen 734607 for more information.

The club meet in Aberdeen, Cults and Inverurie.

Ronnie Watt adds:

“We are always keen to attract new members of all ages.”


Gold    12           Silver   15          Bronze  7         Total  34 Medals!!
Individual Senior Kata, Br/Black:
3rd – Grant Conroy.
Team Kata U14 Male Female Mixed:
1st – Kai Dark, Sophie Johnston, Nikita Kevra. 
Individual Kumite, 14-U16, -57kg:
3rd – Benedict Bruce.
Individual Kumite Cadets, Male 16-U18, 65kg+ :
2nd – Connor Davidson.
Team Kumite Men Seniors:
2nd – Stuart Odell, Curtis Thornton, Ian Wallace.
Individual Senior Women Kata, Br/Black:
1st – Nissara Kirk.
2nd – Chloe Calder.
Team Kata Cadets Female:
1st – Yasmin Parsa, Leah Provan, Charlotte Walker.
Individual Kumite Cadets, Female 14-U16, -55kg:
1st – Yasmin Parsa.
3rd – Keira Cormack.
Individual Kumite Cadets, Female 16-U18, -57kg:
2nd – Leah Provan.
Team Kumite Female Cadets:
2nd – Yasmin Parsa, Leah Provan, Charlotte Walker:
Individual Kata, 5-U14, Br/Blk:
3rd – Kai Dark.
Team Kumite Seniors Female:
2nd – Chloe Calder, Nissara Kirk, Emma Stuart.

Senior Women Team Kata:
1st – Nissara Kirk, Chloe Calder, Emma Stewart.

Senior Female Ippon:
2nd – Chloe Calder.
3rd – Nissara Kirk.
Individual Cadet Kata, 14-U18, White – Orange:
2nd – Keira Cormack.
Individual Kata, 5-U10, Green – Purple:
1st – Cameron Smith.
3rd – Harry proud.
Individual Kumite Female Seniors, +63kg:
2nd – Emma Stuart.
Individual Kumite Female Seniors, -63Kg:
3rd – Nissara Kirk.

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May 172013

One of Scottish cycling’s most prestigious races is joining forces with one of the newest as the Scottish National Road Race Championships heads for Cyclefest 2013 at the Grampian Transport Museum at Alford, on Sunday 19th May. With thanks to Chris Anderson.

The Cyclefest event is now in its third year.

2013 marks the fifth time that local cycling club Ythan CC have promoted youth cycle races at the popular Donside tourist attraction, following the Grampian Grand Prix events in 2009 and 2010 and successful Cyclefests over the past two years.

Following a new partnership between the Ellon club and Aberdeen racing outfit Granite City Racing Team, Scotland’s top men and women road riders will be taking on the challenging roads around Donside whilst over 60 youths from across Scotland battle it out on the closed circuit at the museum.

Sponsored by global energy services company Senergy, Cyclefest celebrates everything about cycling at a time when the sport is booming in the UK thanks to superstars like Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton.

This year’s event marks another transition as the present stars of Scottish Cycling, who next year will be trying to secure places at the Commonwealth Games, will join with future of the sport in Scotland as 60 youths aged from 6 to 16 travel from as far as Edinburgh, Stirling and Tain to race on the famous track.

Cyclefest Youth Race Organiser Malcolm Grant of Ythan CC and Granite City RTs Phil Allan have been working closely with Grampian Transport Museum to ensure that the events ensure a memorable day for cycling fans with special attractions at the museum and the bonus of a closed road finish in Alford for the men’s and women’s Championship Road Races.

The event theme, the joining of the present and future of Scottish Cycling, will be given a grandstand introduction at 11am when the youth riders, and a specially formed youth pipe band from across the Alford area, lead the Women’s Championship field around the track before they head towards the roads to the north of Donside to decide the national title.

This will be followed by the first set of youth races featuring riders as young as six before the men’s field enjoy a similar ceremonial send off before also taking on the same circuit on a course that takes in Montgarrie, Auchleven, Insch, Kennethmont, Rhynie and Mossat.

The women’s and men’s road races are expected to finish on Montgarrie Road Alford at approximately 2.15pm and 3pm respectively.

The closed road finish promises to provide a fitting finale to what should be a thrilling event, encompassing several ascents of Brindie Hill near Keig and the historic and feared climb of Suie Hill before the winding and fast descent back towards Alford in what will undoubtedly prove to be a true test for all of the riders.

Championship organiser Phil Allan commented:

“Most of Scotland’s top riders have entered including Commonwealth Track medallist James McCallum (Rapha Condor) and strong local favourite Craig Wallace who has returned from racing in Belgium to try to win in his first year as senior. It will be a tough race and the winner will be a worthy national champion.

The women’s event – which has 37 riders taking part – will feature many of the riders who have Glasgow 2014 in their sights with the Breast Cancer Care Team well represented.  Paralympic pilot Fiona Duncan (Ythan CC) will be hoping that a recent racing trip to Belgium puts her in a strong position to challenge the favourites such as Jane Barr and Aberdeen’s Julie Erskine.

Cyclefest within the grounds of the Transport Museum will also be the place to watch fast and exciting racing as the youths ride two stages within their age categories to decide who will claim not only the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals but also the prestigious Cyclefest gold Winners jerseys, which have been generously donated by Aberdeenshire Sports Council.

Race organiser Malcolm Grant, said:

“The track at Alford lends itself perfectly to youth racing and is ideal for spectators to watch the next generation of Scotland’s cyclists enjoy competing and developing as athletes.”

“We are very grateful to Senergy for supporting Cyclefest and who work very closely with the Transport Museum to deliver a quality event in Aberdeenshire.  On behalf of Ythan Cycling Club I would like to thank Aberdeenshire Sports Council for their continued commitment to supporting, developing and improving sport across Aberdeenshire. 

“We are also grateful to the young pipers and drummers from Donside who will create the fanfare as the Championships get under way and to the volunteer team from the local cycling clubs that make these events possible.”

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games mascot Clyde will be at the Transport Museum from 12 noon and will make several appearances including at the Youth and Senior Medal presentations, which will provide visitors of all ages with an early chance to see one of the central figures on next years sporting celebrations in Glasgow.

Entry to Cyclefest is via the main museum gate with the following prices being in place.
Adult £4 | Concession £3 | Child £2 | Family £10 (2 adults & up to 2 children) | gtm+ members- Free

Reduced museum entry fee for cyclefest visitors.
Adult £6 | Concession £4.50 | Additional Child £2 | gtm+ members- Free

Cyclefest can also be followed on twitter at or via the Transport Museum website at

Feb 222012

With thanks to Dave Macdermid.

Westburn Tennis Centre was the venue for the first in a series of eleven invitational ‘Orange Matchplay’ events for sixteen young North East tennis players, with those involved being divided into two groups and competing each month.
Jamie Connell (Rubislaw) won the Tier 1 event, with Harrsha Pradeep Kumar (DL Aberdeen) being a very close runner up.

Euan McCleod(Cults) was unbeaten in the Tier 2 event , finishing just ahead of Cameron Sharpe (Westhill).

NESLTA district coach Vikki Paterson, who organised the series of events said:

“The standard of tennis was very good and hopefully over the next 11 months the tennis will continue to improve and we will witness lots of good competitive matches.”

36 year old Aberdonian Jason Barnett reached the semi-finals of both singles and doubles at the ITF World Seniors Individual Championships played in La Jolla, California.

Seeded 5 in the Men’s 35 age group singles, the Scot, now based in Kent, won through four rounds of matches, before finally losing to Benjamin Budziak of Poland at the semi-final stage. Omitted from the GB team which competed in San Diego at the previous week’s World Team Championships, Barnett proved a point by progressing further than any of the other GB players in the individual event.

In the Men’s 35 doubles, Barnett was disappointed to go out at the semi-final stage.   Seeded 2 with England’s Neil Goldsby as partner, the duo lost at the semi-final stage to the Finnish pair of Tapio Nerminen & Ilkke Raikonen 6-4 6-4 in a closely contested match.

Barnett returns to Scotland this week to compete at the Scottish Senior’s Open Championships, an ITF Grade 3 event.  Top seed in the Men’s 35 singles event, he is seeded to meet England’s Mike Ingham in next Sunday’s final, and hopes to retain the title which he won in 2011.

Over 200 players from all over the world will contest 18 events at venues throughout Glasgow this week.    Play starts on Thursday 23rd February, with all finals scheduled for the Scotstoun Leisure Centre, Glasgow on Sunday 26th February.

Scottish players will be hoping to perform well, ahead of this year’s Home Nations’ Seniors Championships, which will be hosted by England at Bolton Arena from 5th – 7th May.

Dec 222011

The opening day of the 5th Stewart Milne Group Indoor Championships produced some excellent tennis at the Westburn Tennis Centre with a couple of the seeded players in the Boys 16 & Under event failing to reach the quarter final stage.  With thanks to Dave Macdermid.

Rubislaw’s Ross Findlay recovered from the loss of a close first set tie-break, which he lost 8-6, to oust Cameron Ritchie (Kinnoull), the number six seed, winning 6-7 (6), 6-3, (10-5).

Cameron’s clubmate Ryan Martin fared better though with a comprehensive straight sets victory over David Holmes (Dunfermline), seeded three.

The favourite, Scott Macaulay (Western) progressed safely, losing just a single game against Torphins youngster William McLellan.


BOYS SINGLES – 18 & Under 1st round – Charles Barclay (MeldrumAcademy) bt A. Machray (Livilands) 6-2, 6-4.

2nd round – A. Stiven (Drummond) bt C. Michie (Rubislaw) 6-4, 7-6 (1); C. Macgeoch (Gosling) bt D. Holmes (Dunfermline) 6-1, 6-0.

16 & Under 1st round – W. McLellan (Torphins) bt Machray 3-6, 7-6 (0), (10-7); R. Findlay (Rubislaw) S. Leith (Stonehaven) 6-1, 6-2; C. Ritchie (Kinnoull) bt C. Van Dort (Cults) 6-4, 7-5; Ryan Martin (Kinnoull) bt D. Tait (Elgin) 6-2, 6-1; A. Irvine bt M. Leith (Stonehaven) 6-0, 6-1; R. Thompson (Cullercoats) bt M. Wallace-Cookson (Unattached) 6-1, 6-0; B. Soutar (Cults) bt C. Millar (Cults) 6-2, 6-0; N. Robertson (Kinnoull) bt S. Golder (Prestwick) 6-1, 6-4; Chris Barclay (Meldrum Academy) bt S. Stead (Rubislaw) 6-3, 6-4; S. Grant (Inverness) bt I. Blanksma (Stonehaven) 6-0, 6-3.

2nd round – S. Macaulay (Western) bt McLellan 6-1, 6-0; Findlay bt Ritchie 6-7 (6), 6-3, (10-5); Ryan Martin bt Holmes 6-3, 6-2; Irvine bt Charles Barclay 6-2, 6-2; Thompson bt Soutar 6-0, 6-1; J. Fleming (Unatt) bt Robertson 6-4, 6-1; Stiven bt Chris Barclay 6-1, 6-0; Macgeoch bt Grant 6-2, 6-4.

12 & Under 1st round – A. Low (Udny) bt L. Dunlop (Unatt) 6-3, 6-3; Jed Alexander (Montrose) bt M. Chisholm (Craigie) 6-0, 6-0.

2nd round – C. Bowie (Barnton Park) bt Low 6-0, 6-0; A. McHugh (Unatt) bt A. Hambrey (Unatt) 6-2, 6-0; G. Walker (Esporta Hamilton) bt P. Young (Montrose) 6-4, 6-2; J. Mackinlay (Corstorphine) bt C. Edward (Cults) 6-2, 6-1; Z. Scott (St. Andrews) bt A. Odentz (Westburn TC) 6-0, 6-0; Jason Alexander (Cults) bt T. Doran (Stonehaven) 6-0, 6-0; L. Hall (Blairgowrie) bt Ross Martin (RGC) 6-3, 6-2; A. Hepburn (Nairn) bt Jed Alexander 6-1, 6-2.

GIRLS SINGLES – 14 & Under 1st round – M. Wood (Braid) bt E. Patterson (Stonehaven) 6-1, 6-2.

Quarter Finals – S. Dodds (Harrogate) bt Wood 6-0, 6-0; A. Paterson (Inverness) bt H. Campbell (Nairn) 6-0, 6-0; E. Sim (Tennis World) bt A. Aitken (Stonehaven) 6-0, 6-0; H. Worsley (Stirling) bt H. Adam (Cults) 6-0, 6-1.