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Get ready for Spring Racing Session!

Spring Racing Session

Well, the season is nearly upon us all again…….The I need an outfit for a special occasion season!

Be it a wedding, a formal, a Spring Fundraiser or if you need an outfit for Melbourne Cup Day and maybe even a great inexpensive fascinator or two, Moments Boutique at Albany Creek has it.

Spring Racing Session

It was a lightbulb moment whilst standing in line at Centrelink and a need to help others that Shirley knew she wanted a new fresh start doing something which brought joy to those she touched. Not long after this she was at a local clothing stores’ huge moving sale buying a dress for her daughter and a little voice told her to ask about buying the fixtures as well, the rest is history. Before she knew it, they had offered her some dresses at a great price and there she was for the first time in her life at 46 starting a business.

From humble beginnings in 2010 operating out of under her home at West Chermside, she opened under the name of Elegance Plus. Soon through word of mouth locally her little business grew and Shirley expanded to her current shop at Dawn Rd, Albany Creek. With this, she rebranded as It’s Your Moment Formal Boutique and Shirley hasn’t looked back. In recent times and with growth Shirley has seen the need to faze the range of long formal gowns and rebrand again as Moments Boutique.

Moments Boutique specialises in Mother of the Bride/Groom outfits, Grandmother of the bride/groom, Racewear Dresses, Fascinators, and Accessories. Shirley’s vision is to help source beautiful dresses and pantsuits for ladies at competitive prices. It is her passion to make everyone she styles look absolutely stunning and feeling beautiful no matter how petite or how voluptuous they may be. She finds many ladies come into her store feeling very deflated because they can’t get a lovely dress that they feel comfortable in or fits their body shape and size. Shirley knows as women all have those little bits that we want to either accentuate or hide. So, she likes to cater for this and it’s where Shirley absolutely loves helping them and seeing their faces when they have a choice of four or five outfits, and they don’t know which one to pick. Shirley says it lifts her heart and that’s the best problem to have! Her motto is we all love to feel like a lady and so we should.'

Spring Racing Session Village Buzz

After 7 years in business, Shirley noticed that she found it difficult to source fascinators for the everyday woman who didn’t want to pay a fortune or didn’t want to see themselves everywhere they went. So, she decided to begin creating her own. The ideas flooded in and now Shirley creates her own all made in-house pieces. Shirley is quick to point out that she doesn’t consider herself a milliner as she is self-taught but her designs are one-off pieces and totally couture. With prices ranging from $25, they are very affordable and there’s something for everyone.

Shirley supports local charities by donating pieces of jewelry or gift certificates as prizes if they have a benefit or something on. She loves being in business on the north side of Brisbane as she has lived here all of her life and wouldn’t think to live anywhere else. She finds the people very family orientated. Shirley loves the relaxed lifestyle of working near where she lives and getting to know her customers as neighbours.

Shirley’s vision for the future is to work from home providing what she does now but by appointment so she can focus individually on every lovely customer and their outfit that comes into her home. She prides herself in customer service and believes that this will take that experience further by making them feel totally comfortable whilst they shop for their special occasion.

Her one wish in life is to make ladies feel safe. Even as a child she didn’t always feel safe, but she does now and loves it when ladies come into her store and the feedback she gets is that they felt so comfortable and safe.

There are new fascinators just released ready for the upcoming race day essentials and all gowns at the moment are on sale and there are some stunning gowns ones from just $85. Shirley is clearing them out to make way for more Plus size mother of the bride in February 2019.

Moments Boutique is located at Shop 4/2 Dawn Road, Albany Creek and is opened Tuesday - Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday 9am-4pm and Saturday 8:30am-3:30 pm.

For further information, the website is www.itsyourmoment.com

Written by Robyn Baker, Busy Connecting

The Store of Requirement is in Samford

The Store of Requirement
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live” or “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors not his equals” and “I am what I am an’ I’m not ashamed!”

I love all these quotes and I also love where they all come from……yes for those in the know they are magical quotes to live by from the Harry Potter series! And just a short drive out to Station Street, Samford it’s all there!

How lucky are we that in our own backyard of Samford the magical Store of Requirement has come to life and it’s as exciting as you could ever imagine for young and old alike?

Situated in the picturesque Samford surrounded by rolling green hills what better place to feel that you could be part of the whole wizardry scene. Kim the store’s owner often jokes that it sets the mood for coming in as it’s like you are on your own trip to Hogwarts, or at least someplace magical and it does feel just like that.

Out the front you’ll be greeted by Arthur Weasley’s Ford Anglia, Hedwig is there out of her cage overlooking the entrance and if you need it there’s even a spot for parking a Nimbus 2000.

Walking inside it’s a matter of where to look first. There is so much to see and choose from and all official Harry Potter merchandise. There are house robes, wands, brooms, jewellery, games and puzzles, books, you can buy your own Marauders’ Map, Ron’s Deluminator, the Tri-Wizard Cup or one of their best sellers, Hermione’s Time Turner Necklace or her wand. All products are of course replicas and range in prices from $5 to over $500. There’s something for everyone and every budget.

If you go on the weekend you can find out which house you should be in as the witches with the help of the magical sorting hat can help you with that. There are also Herbology classes on Saturday afternoons from 2.30pm to 3.30pm.

Birthday parties can be hosted here and need to be booked in advance as they are growing in popularity.

It’s easy to see that all the staff have a great love and appreciation for anything Harry Potter and the series having watched the series and read the books many times.

Kim loves being part of the magic and bringing fun to fans of all ages. She said she loves working at the store as she gets to be as geeky as she likes and enjoys talking with all like-minded people about something that brings hope, happiness and magic to millions of people all over the world.

Kim’s dream and biggest wish would be to actually have magic to make cleaning easier and she would LOVE to meet some of the big stars and say thank you for their portrayal of her favourite (and not so favourite) characters for bringing them to life. She would also love to say thank you to the many Authors whose books she has read. Kim loves reading and believes it is the greatest form of escapism one can have for a few hours each day.

The Store of Requirement proudly supports Egypt Equine Aid, a not for profit organisation that helps the working horses in the Pyramid area of Cairo get medical assistance.

The store in Samford opened on 31 July 2017 (Harry Potter’s birthday) and this year on his birthday they also opened another store in Collingwood, Melbourne. Luckily for all your wizard needs our local store is open from Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 4pm.

Bookings for Herbology classes and Birthday parties can be made on 0490 868 787, magic@thestoreofrequirement.com.au and follow their Facebook page too.

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When you’re a kid every step counts…but what if you can’t?

Every Step Counts

When you’re a kid every step counts, every skip, run and jump but what if you can’t?

Well amazing Brisbane Mum, Christine Meyer, decided that “no” was not in her vocabulary when it came to her son James. Christine and husband Darren, decided to fundraise for life changing neurosurgery for James who was told that he would probably never walk independently due to Cerebral Palsy. The fundraising was for James to undertake SDR surgery in the US at the end of last year. With the support of Every Step Foundation James has now taken his first steps and is well on his way to walking independently.

Every Step Foundation

How cute are these three stars in the featured photo here? Josh, Harry and James, three friends all living with Cerebral Palsy and a part of the Every Step family.

Every Step Foundation is now headed by Christine and two other local mums, Rebecca and Miranda, whose lives have also been touched by Cerebral Palsy and who have a joint strong drive to help other children living with a physical disability.

Every Step Foundation supports children with physical disabilities and their families in achieving their goals. This year they are focused on funding intensive therapy blocks, such as physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and occupational therapy. Intensive therapy blocks are proving to be highly effective, particularly in children with Cerebral Palsy, in developing strength, improving balance, reducing tone and associated pain and achieving valuable long term functional gains. Often these intensive blocks cost in excess of $5000 each which can make them prohibitively expensive for families. The Foundation supports Brisbane and surrounds and hopes to geographically expand their support network in the near future

This year Every Step Foundation aims to raise enough funds to support six children through an intensive block of therapy of their choice. In the long term, they hope to be a major Australian not for profit charity who can support children with disabilities and their families to achieve their goals.

The Foundation and these incredible mums want people to know that they are not alone in their journey with disability and they encourage people to join their support network through their Facebook page, Every Step Foundation. They want everyone to know how they can support their cause and how we all might be able to support them or their loved one. In particular, that ALL funds raised through Every Step Foundation are spent DIRECTLY on children living with disability. This year money raised will directly fund intensive blocks of therapy for children who are working hard every day to achieve their goals and improve their mobility and function.

Every Step Foundation is a proud northside charity and they love the disability support network we have here within easy reach of the CBD.

Every Step Foundation has their upcoming Annual Ladies Luncheon which is their major fundraiser on 6 October 2018 at Hillstone St Lucia Golf Course. This a beautiful and fun filled day is for ladies to enjoy a two-course lunch including wine, live music, games, raffles and a silent auction with some amazing prizes! Tickets are selling fast so get in quick if you don’t want to miss out https://www.trybooking.com/VTVP. Donations can also be made directly to their Give Now fundraising link https://www.givenow.com.au/everystepfoundation and if you wish to give any donations of auction or raffle prizes for their upcoming major fundraiser please contact Rebecca at rebecca@everystepfoundation.org.au.

Written by Robyn Baker, Busy Connecting

How to You Can Supporting Our Local Strawberry Farmers

Strawberry Farmers

Strawberry Farmers

What’s everyone using their delicious strawberries for? Besides devouring them straight up one after the other? 🍓🍓🍓

Share your recipes. Here’s a link from Queensland Strawberries to get started. (I can highly recommend the ice cream)!

https://www.qldstrawberries.com.au/strawberry-love…/recipes/

Luvaberry would like to thank everyone for the wonderful support, it’s been bigger than expected and they love all their fabulous clients. 🍓

Unfortunately, now they will not be open Saturday but there are lots of others and here are the links to other local farms that are.

https://www.qldstrawberries.com.au/find-a-farm/

https://donarity.org/participating-farms

What better way to spend a day out than by doing something good for the community and helping our struggling Strawberry Farmers and their little town of Wamuran? And how good are freshly picked sweet strawberries? 🍓

There are many Strawberry farms in and around the Glasshouse Mountains and it’s a wonderful day out.

Driving through the farming area it’s hard not to be heartbroken by the fruit left to die on the plants because the farmers can’t sell them to the supermarkets. It is truly devastating and with the discussion continuing on this there are many farms that weren’t part of the shutdown that is suffering. They have no option but to walk away from their crops. We can all help by heading to them and picking our own fresh delicious perfect strawberries. Some have pre-picked trays available that you can buy if you’re not keen on picking your own.

I must admit I picked my own strawberries and after weighing them my hand-picked tray of beautiful “Ruby Red” delicious strawberries came to over 3 kg. Over 3 kg for $10. And these are the sweetest strawberries which we don’t get in the shops.

Whilst driving around the area, there are many farms and most sell roadside so on a day out you can also stock up on other fruit and vegetable supplies as well.

An easy search on Google of Strawberry Farms north Brisbane will bring up all the farms, then it’s an easy click to see if they’re open to the public. Most are at the moment and should be this weekend. Or if you choose to head up that way there are plenty of signs that will point you in the right direction.

The fabulous War on Waste Queen, Amanda Schultz is doing her part and her “Luvaberry” farm has been open to the public. People power means that 30,000 plants have been picked. Like the Luvaberry Facebook Page to stay up to date on their future happenings.

https://www.facebook.com/LuvaBerry/

Written by Robyn Baker, Busy Connecting

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HOW I SHOULD HAVE HANDLED ONLINE BULLYING

online bullying

online bullying

Online Bullying. It really took me by surprise. One minute I was having a happy, productive, stress-free working day and the next I was a quivering mess full of doubt, fear, and negativity.

… all because of two comments!

I post regular videos on Facebook giving tips and ideas to business people around Facebook marketing. I’m pretty confident as I know my stuff, so I just say it as it is. My ‘no fluff’ videos have been liked and shared and received loads of positive comments ever since I began.

Then it happened.

Two comments appeared on my post – negative ones – from two people I don’t know.

Now when I say negative, I really mean scathing, judgemental and bordering on bullying.

Yep, these two really went to town.

Apparently…

  1. My face was too close to the camera
  2. My nostrils are too big and
  3. They were offended that a ‘giant face’ was taking up space in their Facebook newsfeed!

Now you may be reading this and thinking about what you would have done if that happened to you:

“Ignore them”
“Just delete the comments”
“Engage in some witty banter”
“Block the bas#@%ds”
“Have a laugh and get on with it.”

Here’s what really happened.

  • I immediately reacted and deleted the post.
  • I felt embarrassed.
  • I felt ashamed.
  • I started spiralling into a state of depression.
  • I cried.
  • And I lost all confidence in my abilities… and myself in general.

Needless to say, I was not in a happy place.

It affected my ability to focus, to trust myself, to be vulnerable and my mind was filled with a whole pile of negativity.

Thankfully, after my little pity party, I had time to sleep on it. I started to rally and realised there is a much better way to react to this kind of bullying.

If this had happened to one of my clients, I would have suggested the following:

  1. Don’t delete, respond or block anything or anyone.
  2. Immediately step away from the computer.
  3. Take some slow, deep breaths.
  4. Make a cup of tea, or a strong coffee to calm your nerves.
  5. Take a break, some time out, put your feet up and keep breathing.
  6. If you feel to, call a business partner or close friend and talk constructively about the comments.
  7. Decide on a positive response to these negative comments. Be the bigger person in the situation.
  8. Reflect on the comments in a constructive way. Ask yourself “Is there something I can learn from this that will improve me, or my business?” Perhaps I do need to stand further away from the camera… or investigate nostril reduction surgery? (Just kidding!)
  9. Respond ONCE to these comments in a positive light and don’t encourage or engage in further conversations with the person or people.
  10. Take as long as you need to adjust your mindset and remove any negative thoughts about yourself. Once your head is straight and you’re thinking clearly again, you might actually see the gift in the whole situation.

As for the response, I would suggest something like:

“Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on how I can improve my business. I am always looking for ways to grow and service my clients better.”

So why didn’t I take my own advice?

Well, because I am human after all! I let my emotions and negative thoughts take over.

If things do get out of control, make the call as to whether to delete the post. You don’t want to have to constantly defend yourself or deal with a situation that is escalating out of control.

In Facebook groups, you sometimes have to ability to turn off the comment feature which prevents further comments to be made.

Whichever approach you take, learn from my experience and don’t let your emotions take control. Have a little cry by all means. Let it all out, but only once you’ve removed yourself from the computer. Tears can wreak havoc with your keyboard!

Here are some reminders to post somewhere handy if or when a situation arises.

Reminder 1: People are entitled to their views and to have their say.
Reminder 2: What other people think of you is none of your business.
Reminder 3: One (or two) people’s opinion is not EVERYONE’S opinion.
Reminder 4: Nobody can take your power away without your permission.
Reminder 5: You are a good person, a worthy human being, an all-round nice chick (or guy)
Reminder 6. Don’t give up.
Reminder 7: You’ve got this!

Originally Published: HOW I SHOULD HAVE HANDLED ONLINE BULLYING

Or Read how I SHOULD have handled online bullying on Facebook, hit share or like button!

 

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Harry’s Diner: An iconic Brisbane car and bike lovers meet up place says goodbye

Photo Credits: Biker Event Calendar

They say when one door closes another opens and on Saturday 18 August 2018 with all signage removed the doors at Harry’s Diner, Newmarket Road, Windsor closed officially for the last time.

For those who don’t know, for over 20 years Harry’s has been a well-known iconic car and bike lovers meeting place. With its unique 1950’s style, it has been famous for hosting car meets just as much as its wonderful milkshakes and burgers, 1950’s serving size too. So, in true Brisbane car lovers style, a Webby’s Old School Cruise Night was held to mark the last “official” cruise from there to Bunnings at Carseldine. As expected hundreds turned out for the cruise and to watch history in the making.

By the time the cruise reached Bunnings at Carseldine there were approximately 1000 cars in attendance, filling Bunnings, the Homemaker Centre and Aldi’s car park, mostly the classic cars which we’ve grown up with but with a few standouts. From an early 1900’s Chevy to the latest of muscle cars there were cars, trucks, bikes, and hot-rods of all makes and models. And as always for Webby’s Cruises, no one is left out and everyone is included. It’s hard not to notice the close “family” feel in this group even though this time it’s the largest I’ve ever seen outside of an organised car show. I must confess I’m a bit of a car buff and at these meets, I’m continually surprised by what turns up on the night.

There are many car groups in Brisbane and meets often held for car enthusiasts so there’s always somewhere to view the odd standouts or go for a cruise but this had to be the largest ever held in Brisbane. It should be noted also that the organisation is well oiled and those involved should be extremely proud of how everyone conducted themselves. Too often car meetups are given a bad rap but this group of whom most only know each other through going to the meets behaved exceptionally well and are always more than happy to talk about their pride and joys as well as learn from others.

If you’re looking to join a cruise or just check out the amazingly well restored and maintained vehicles the next Webby’s Old School Cruise Night is planned for 15 September. Check out the Facebook page for more details on where to meet etc. CLICK HERE.

All is not lost for Harry’s Diner and they are relocating and expect to reopen at a new location in late November. All is hush hush at the moment until the final plans are in place but bigger and better things are to come. Stay tuned.

Written by Robyn Baker, Busy Connecting

I’m a 52 year old woman, and I’ve finally found a way to feel the way I want to feel

purple monkey dishwasher

purple monkey dishwasher

It’s all my 21-year-old daughters’ fault. She was looking for a personal trainer. She found one.

And the bonus was I found one too: Bonnie at Fabulous Physical Fun at Ferny Grove.

It’s called a fitness studio, but it’s more than that.

Yes, there are all the classes thoughtfully tailored for the over 40’s, 50’s and beyond. (Or people who are just a bit stiff or have hit the realisation: I really need to start some sort of exercise...)

But there’s also the laughter, the group support and motivation to keep going, and a coffee together as well.

I’m a hairdresser, on my feet all day. And talking all day. (I do love the talking bit.) I love to ride my horse. But to keep up my strength and balance, I have to do more. I’ve tried the DIY fitness at home, but it just doesn’t work for me.

I get something extra from a group class. Music to make the experience fun, then there’s being able to watch and follow the trainer to get the technique right. It feels so good when you get the technique right!

I like the variety of different classes and different trainers. I’ve tried the boxing - love that; Zumba - my favourite; then there’s strength training – I’d never done that before - was a bit sceptical and nervous about weights and cardio, but gently does it and I’m fine; and all the stretchiness that is pilates.

And then there are the women in the class who are older than me and doing the moves so easily, with such grace.

It’s not designed to be competitive, so let’s call it inspiring.

My daughter pushed me through the front door. But now I go because I’ve noticed everything is just easier - all the things I have to do each day. And then I’m not so tired at the end of the day. And sleep…

After 3 years, I’m now in a routine where I go to my training sessions all year round. Summer’s coming – bring out the shorts – I’m ready!

Just by walking in the door of the studio I discovered getting started into a mid-life fitness routine was easier than I ever imagined.

I’ve finally found a way to feel the way I want to feel. Stronger. More balanced. More energy. Mentally and physically more alert.  It took time, and a gentle, consistent effort. And on a cold morning when I don’t want to get out of bed, I remind myself of that.

If I want to keep feeling this good, just keep doing what I’m doing.

Thanks, Bonnie for being there.

About: 

Fabulous Physical Fun Pilates and Fitness Studio
Next to Coles in the Ferny Grove Shopping Village

51 McGinn Road
Ferny Grove, Brisbane 4055

M 0413 600 502 – Bonnie
bonnie@fabphysicalfun.com.au

www.fabphysicalfun.com.au

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Eatons Hill Family Going to America for Life Changing Surgery

Every so often at Village Buzz we come across a story that really tugs at our heartstrings and the case of young James Meyer from Eatons Hill is definitely one of those.

He suffers from cerebral palsy and his parents Darren and Christine have launched an appeal to raise funds to take him to the United States for selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery. The surgery promises to remove spasticity in his muscles which will, in turn, relieve the pain and discomfort he endures. It will help him be more mobile and independent increasing his quality of life.

His birth in October 2013 (10 weeks premature) was traumatic and he was delivered by emergency Caesarean section. His twin sister Grace was born shortly afterwards and the medical team expected both children to recover fully in the course of time. By the age of 10 months, however, it became apparent that James wasn't hitting the same developmental milestones as his sister and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. This affects all sufferers differently and, in James's case, his cognitive function was luckily not impaired but he was in a state where the muscles in all four limbs are impacted by spasticity making his muscles tight and hard to move.

The condition is painful and threatened to reduce his mobility to the extent he might never be able to walk independently. The medical team launched an early intervention programme of treatment which included physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and speech therapy in an attempt to alleviate his symptoms.

He was classified as a 4 on the GMFCS scale which ranges from 1 to 5, with five being the most disabled. Doctors expected James would spend a lot of his life in a wheelchair but his mum Christine said he was so determined to walk that he is now able to use a hand-held walker and has been downgraded to a 3 on the GMFCS scale.

Determination, regular Botox injections and a self-funded programme of intensive therapy were responsible for this improvement. However, Christine told Village Buzz that these treatments are not long-term solutions because the effects of Botox only last a few months and intensive therapy costs between $3000-$5000 which is prohibitively expensive because it would have to be repeated three or four times every year.

The family began to hope again early in 2017 when Christine heard about SDR surgery from a mum whose child had successfully undergone the treatment and she and Darren began to investigate the possibility that it might benefit James too.

He was found to be a promising candidate but the surgery is not often performed in Australia meaning the family will have to travel to the St Louis Children's Hospital in the US where he can be operated on by leading specialist Dr Tae Sung Park.

The cost of travel, the surgery and intensive rehabilitation afterwards will cost $100,000 and so James's parents launched the Every Step Foundation to try to raise the necessary funds to relieve the pain their son suffers from and give him the best chance they can of living a normal life.

Christine explained that the SDR surgery will involve identifying the nerves rootlets leading out of James’s spine responsible for his muscle spasticity and cutting them. There will be plenty of physical therapy for him to undergo afterwards but his parents believe it will be worth it for the reduction in pain and discomfort and increased mobility it will bring.

Mum Christine believes the treatment will be successful and points out that the surgery has been performed thousands of times with many testifying to the positive effect it has had on their lives. James’ medical team are supportive of his parents’ decision to seek the treatment.

Without help from the community, however, it will be financially impossible for him to receive the treatment. The Every Step Foundation welcomes one-off or monthly donations at the link provided and will be holding events over the next few months to raise funds.

Donations are tax deductible. To donate, visit https://www.givenow.com.au/jamessdr

Ladies are invited for a fundraising lunch at Hillstone St Lucia in October. It will be a day of fun to support James on his journey to an independent and pain-free future. Follow Every Step Foundation on Facebook for updates on events and to see James’ progress.

We at Village Buzz wish the Meyer family every success with their fundraising efforts and will be holding thumbs for James when he goes through his life-changing surgery later in the year.

Every Step Foundation

Facebook: https://goo.gl/Hchq1Y

Website: http://www.everystepfoundation.org.au/

Donate: https://www.givenow.com.au/jamessdr

More information on SDR surgery

Website: http://www.stlouischildrens.org/our-services/center-cerebral-palsy-spasticity/about-selective-dorsal-rhizotomy-sdr

Brochure: http://www.stlouischildrens.org/sites/default/files/services/cerebral_spasticity/files/SDRbrochure_final.pdf

 

Fundraising Ladies Lunch

Date: 21 October 2017 at 11:00am

Location: Hillstone St Lucia, Carawa Street, St Lucia, QLD 4067.

Contact: Christine Meyer, 0422740304, info@everystepfoundation.org.au

Booking: https://www.trybooking.com/RKNH

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Local woman could be the highest-ranked female karateka in the world!

Here at Village Buzz we were intrigued to hear that a local woman will soon be heading out to Japan where she stands a chance of becoming one of the highest-ranked female karateka in the world.

Malwina Martin is an instructor at the Ho Shin Do Karate Club in Wilston Road, Newmarket, and is hoping to achieve her 5th Dan black belt grading in the Go Ju Ryu style of karate. She and other members of the club, including her husband Roderick, will attend a training camp, be graded and compete in the Japanese Karate Federation (JKF) nationals in Wakayama in August.

Pictured: At a recent training session to prepare for the trip to Japan were, from left, Janine Boothroyd, Ollie Martin, Maia Martin, Rod Martin, Malwina Martin, Luke Morrison
and Mia Anderson.

The club organises an annual trip to Japan to participate in a two-week camp held by Seiichi Fujiwara Hanshi who is a prominent member of the JKF and an 8th Dan karateka himself. Senior karateka from around the world attend the camp which provides an opportunity for learning and socialising.

"We always learn a great deal from the training camps run by Fujiwara Sensei during which we train for six hours a day for two weeks," said Rod, who is chief instructor at the club. "The experience is incredibly demanding physically and mentally and feels like the equivalent of running a marathon every day for the same amount of time!"

Those who will be heading to Japan on July 22 include Rod, Malwina, their daughter Maia, their son Ollie and club members Dr Janine Boothroyd and Mia Anderson. If successful, the touring party will achieve some major milestones during the trip.

As already mentioned, Malwina hopes to gain her 5th Dan and Rod, who has been training for the past 35 years, will attempt his 6th Dan in the All Japan Karatedo Federation Gojukai. This will make him only the fourth person in Australia graded at that level in Japan.

We chatted with club members before a recent training session and were fascinated to hear about their motivations for participating in such a demanding sport and to hear of Rod’s hopes and plans for his younger charges.

Everyone was in agreement that karate has been a major force for good in their lives and said it not only keeps them fit, but the total concentration it demands helps them to de-stress by emptying their minds of everything. They also agreed that the training helps to improve self-discipline and teaches etiquette and respect for others.

Rod said that karate had been through a dip in Australia in the past few decades but there has recently been a resurgence, especially now it has been reinstated as an Olympic sport for 2020 in Tokyo. He has high hopes that his young charges including Maia, Mia and Luke Morrison (who won't be going to Japan this year) will reach their peak as karateka by 2024 and make a serious impression in the Olympics that year.

We at Village Buzz wished the touring party all the best and said we hoped they would kick serious butt while in Japan. Ollie Martin replied it was more likely the tourists would have their own butts kicked, but that it would be a great learning experience anyway.

PROFILES

Rod and Malwina Martin: Rod currently is hoping to gain a 6th Dan Japanese grading while Malwina will go for her 5th Dan and both will compete in the JKF Nationals in Wakayama. The couple met in Australia, moved to London to teach karate, returned here and started the Ho Shin Do club in 2005. Rod now runs GO2 Health in South Pine Road at Everton Park.

Janine Boothroyd: Janine will be going for her 4th Dan while on tour. She is the current Australian Veteran Kata Champion in the JKF Australia and will be competing in the JKF Nationals in Wakayama.

Maia Martin: Maia will be going for her 2nd Dan. She is the current Australian Go Ju Kai Kata Champion and will be flying home early from Japan to join the Queensland team and compete in the Australian Karate Federation (AKF) Nationals in Sydney.**

Mia Anderson is hoping to gain her 1st Dan in Japan. She fights in the contact division, is a member of the Australian National team and will also compete in the JKF Nationals. Mia has a history of various championship wins in Australia and we wish her the best.

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** Ho Shin Do club member Luke Morrison who holds a 1st kyu Brown belt and fights in the points sparring division of kyu and Black belts, will be joining Maia in the Queensland team to do battle at the AKF Nationals in Sydney.