Point Cook karate kids

Point Cook MP, Mathew Hilakari with (from left) Isaac Ralph, Sensei Bryan Zaldarriaga and Preshena Uthaya Kumar. (supplied) 412325_01

A pair of young Wyndham martial artists are fundraising so they can afford to take on the world’s best in Japan later this year.

Isaac Ralph and Preshena Uthaya Kumar are two local karate students from the Point Cook Branch of the Japanese Karate Association who have been selected to compete at World Karate Championships in Takasaki in October.

Both 12 year old Isaac and 23 year old Preshena have developed into two of the best karate exponents at the Point Cook Dojo under the tutelage of Sensei Bryan Zaldarriaga, but in order to pay for the accommodation and travel needed to compete internationally, both are seeking donations and sponsorship from the local Wyndham community.

Among those who have jumped on board their cause is Point Cook MP, Mathew Hilikari.

“The whole community can be proud of these extraordinary athletes, as well as their Sensei, Byran,” he said.

“To have two participants headed to the World Championships from the same Dojo speaks to the supportive teaching and learning environment, and Preshena and Isaac’s commitment to Karate. Two humble members of our community who should be congratulated for making it to the World Championships, a huge achievement.”

Malaysian born Preshena moved to Australia in 2012 and is currently within her final year of her nursing degree. She began competing in Australia at age 15 and won her first national title in 2018 and her first Dan belt in 2020.

Along with this success, Preshena appreciates the self-defence, mental discipline and appreciation of the culture than she has been able to learn throughout her time at the Point Cook Dojo.

Businesses or individuals that are wishing to sponsor Isaac or Preshena can contact Daniel Ralph at 0423 326 498.

Donation can be made online at: asf.org.au/projects/isaac-ralph/lets-get-isaac-to-the-world-karate-championships-in-japan

and gofund.me/9b60b04d