USKU Palmerston North member Hayden Pettiford was selected earlier this year to complete at the prestigious Funakoshi Gichin Cup 12th World Karate Championships in Thailand over 18th to 21st of August 2011.
Hayden holds a JKA (Japan Karate Association) shodan since grading under Naka sensei in 2010 and was one of a team of 12 JKA New Zealand competitors selected to complete in Thailand. Preparation for the event has been a big focus for 2011, with many hours of additional training, karate camps and seminars. Additional effort was required by Hayden being the only representative from Palmerston North having to travel to Auckland often to train with the team.
Unfortunately a change in circumstance has meant that Hayden will not be able to travel to Thailand with the team, but he has already been earmarked as a key contender to represent New Zealand in the event next year. A testament to hard training, and a strong focus required to excel at this competitive level of Karate.
Congratulations Hayden on this achievement!