Riley Florentine, Jody Whitley, Jack Gardner, Gilda Wright and Dan Walker line up at the National All Styles Australian Martial Arts Championships.
Riley Florentine, Jody Whitley, Jack Gardner, Gilda Wright and Dan Walker line up at the National All Styles Australian Martial Arts Championships. Submitted

Riley tops the nation in sparring

THE sport of martial arts has produced the Coffs Coast’s latest national champion.

Riley Florentine joined a dedicated bunch representing Coffs Harbour Martial Arts School’s combined self defence and fitness group competing at the National All Styles Australian championships in Sydney and gave the school its first national gold medal.

Over two days of gruelling competition, Riley beat all the girls and boys to win her age division in sparring, much to the delight of the school’s senior instructor and principal Bernard Town.

Another medallist was Jody Whitley, who claimed the New South Wales team sparring event recently, before backing up in the open weight black belt division and finishing third.

And despite losing the final of the advanced males sparring, Dan Walker still had enough points to finish national runner-up.

“These students deserve their results, as they train and focus all year for this main event,” Town said proudly.



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