KICKING AHEAD: The 2015/16 QT-City of Ipswich junior sportstar for August Tara Dodrill.
KICKING AHEAD: The 2015/16 QT-City of Ipswich junior sportstar for August Tara Dodrill. Inga Williams

Karate exponent making her father and coach proud

TEENAGE karate exponent Tara Dodrill is making her father and coach proud with her achievements in the sport.

However, sensei Jim Dodrill believes she has two distinct advantages helping her match Australia's best.

"She has got a long reach,'' her coach said.

"Even when I'm coaching her and we're sparring together, she can strike me from twice as far away as I can strike her.

"She's nearly six foot tall.''

Despite being part of the Ipswich Karate Association team sensei Jim coaches, Tara has impressed for another reason.

"I do put a fair bit of time into coaching all these kids but Tara seems to have just motivated herself,'' Jim said.

"Down at the club, she doesn't get any special treatment.''

It's her work ethic and natural assets that have helped Tara excel at the past two Japan Karate Association national championships.

After winning a kumite gold and kata competition bronze medal at her first nationals, she stepped up an age group to win a gold and silver this year.

Her victory in the kata competition and silver in kumite came in the under-15 section in Melbourne.

Collingwood Park-based Tara was 14 during the competition, not turning 15 until January.

"They are very competitive,'' Jim said of the national titles.

"They have got the best from all over Australia and they do take it very seriously, especially the girls.

"It's amazing to watch these days.''

However, Tara uses her valuable attributes wisely against older and skilful opponents.

"She is quite tall for her age and she's very athletic so she tends to have a natural advantage when she does compete,'' Jim said.

Jim said his daughter and student works exceptionally hard during club training three times a week at Collingwood Park.

"She's really surprised me just in this last two years how she really can apply herself,'' he said.

Her reward was the two medals at the national titles and being chosen as the 2015/16 QT-City of Ipswich Junior monthly sportstar for August.

She is the second junior winner in the new series of 2015/16 awards, backed by Ipswich City Council.

The July winner was national indoor netball representative Katrina Smidt.

Year 10 Brigidine College student Tara has been learning karate for eight years.

In her latest competition, Tara was part of the successful Ipswich Karate team which won 58 medals at the recent National Shotokan League Queensland Championships.

Tara won the 14-15 years female fighting (kumite) and came third in kata.



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