IT was self-defence classes that put Port Macquarie teenager Sascha Arnberger on the path to Australian representation.
She has only been competing in karate for the last six years and in the last six months in particular, Arnberger has excelled.
At the end of last year the 13-year-old won the under-13 point sparring championship in Japan and also competed at the Australian Martial Arts Championships.
“I’ve been doing karate for six years, started competing at 10 and then started doing the high level competitions last year in April,” she said.
Arnberger will clock up more frequent flyer points over the next 12 months with upcoming competitions to be held in New Zealand, Noumea, Portugal and Sri Lanka.
She will be too young to compete at the 2020 OIympic Games in Tokyo, but has pencilled in the 2024 event in Paris as a goal.
“I’d like to go to Commonwealth or Olympic Games, but I know it takes a lot of hard work,” she said.
Arnberger will hope to compete at the Commonwealth titles (Glasgow), Junior Olympic trials (Croatia) and World Junior Titles (Okinawa) with the Australian Karate Federation squad over the next two years.
She said there were a few parts to her technique that required some fine tuning.
“I really need to up my game a little bit and start working on the techniques that will score me points,” she said.
The talented teenager will head to the Pacific Cup (in New Caledonia) and the Oceania Titles (in New Zealand) in coming months.
“Next will be Oceania in New Zealand in May and then Noumea in July,” she said.
And how confident was she of success in Noumea, New Zealand or possibly both?
“When I believe I’m going to do something I really believe,” she said.
“It means a lot to have a lot of support from people. It makes me happy and want to do more and train harder.
“If I do a bit more training on the speed and stuff I may have a good chance of winning in Noumea.”