Congratulations to Ben De Bortoli and Eliza Wales

Two very talented BMG students, Ben De Bortoli 12B and Eliza Wales 10D recently competed in the Oceania Karate Championships in Auckland, New Zealand. Here are their reports detailing their events and success:

Ben De Bortoli

On 19 May I competed at the Oceania Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, as a member of the Australian Team.

The Oceania Championships is the biggest competition in our continent, featuring the likes of Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Tahiti,

Nauru and Fiji. The rivalry between Australia and New Zealand is fiery to say the least.

My weight division had not been selected for the Oceania Championships when the provisional team was selected, as the coaching committee had decided to select the team following the Australian Open, due to selection issues. I knew I just had to trust the process.

I was coming off the back of a brilliant 2017, I had won both the Australian Open and National Championships, medalled at the Austrian Open in Salzburg and represented Australia at the Junior World Championships in Spain.

In my first year as a senior, my 2018 campaign had gotten off to a good start, I’d beaten some big scalps, collecting two silver medals at the Australian Open and had defeated Australia’s best fighter, a man who had not been defeated by an Aussie in 10 years. That was a huge win and cemented my selection in the team. That was pure relief.

Oceania was a competition in which I had never won, it was the ‘one that got away’. In 2014 I had broken my wrist, in 2016 I had lost in the final on referee’s decision.

Competition day had arrived, I had won my first two rounds against French Polynesia and New Zealand, and I was up in the final against one of my best mates and fiercest rival, and a fellow Aussie. I had been in control for most of the fight until a brain fade with 4 seconds remaining. In that moment I thought I had cost myself the match, so I decided to go for it. I launched myself and scored on the buzzer. Finally, I had won the Oceania Championships. It was pure relief.

Winning this competition keeps the Olympic dream alive, 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games are firmly in sight. The future is bright!


Eliza Wales

A little under 2 weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to Auckland, New Zealand to represent Australia at the 2018 Oceania Karate Championships.

The best athletes from New Zealand, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Nauru, Fiji and Australia were in attendance.

In my own weight and age category I competed against New Caledonia and New Zealand, coming away with a bronze medal. I was then fortunate enough to be selected in a team event, along with a few other girls from Australia in my age group.

My team won against both New Zealand and French Polynesia to bring home gold.

Overall, I had an amazing experience and am taking away valuable lessons and lifelong friendships.

Photo: Eliza with her Coach, Wayne Noble.