STAR PERFORMER: Rockhampton’s Anne Reid started karate in 2012 and this year, at age 55, won a bronze medal at the world championships.
STAR PERFORMER: Rockhampton’s Anne Reid started karate in 2012 and this year, at age 55, won a bronze medal at the world championships.

‘I thought I would burst into tears but I couldn’t stop grinning’

KARATE: Anne Reid can thank her son for introducing her to karate.

A young Walter was trying his hand at a variety of sports when in 2012 he decided to give karate a go.

“He asked me one day if I thought I might want to join in,” Anne explains.

“There were kids and adults doing it so I thought, ‘Okay, why not’.

“At the time I needed to do something for fitness and to lose a bit of weight so I started doing it and I really enjoyed it.”

It proved a fortuitous introduction, with the sport ultimately catapulting Anne on to the international stage.

This year the 55-year-old represented Australia for the first time at the SKIF World Championships in the Czech Republic, winning bronze in the kata in the 55 and over age division.

Anne Reid on the dais after winning a bronze medal at the SKIF World Championships.
Anne Reid on the dais after winning a bronze medal at the SKIF World Championships.

Anne said it was magnificent to stand on the dais, wrapped in the Australian flag.

“I exceeded my expectations making it into the final and then getting a placing was fantastic,” she said.

“Standing on the dais was something else again; I thought I would burst into tears but I couldn’t stop grinning.

“I was thinking I can’t believe this has happened to me at this age.

“Representing Australia you do feel a great sense of pride and event self-achievement but you also know there’s a huge group of people behind you all believing in you.”

Anne was a very sporting child and did everything from swimming to tennis to hockey.

“I didn’t do martial arts at all. I knew who Bruce Lee was but that was as far as it went.

“In my middle years, I let go of a lot of fitness but then found my way back to it a little bit later in life.

Rockhampton's Anne Reid competing in the Czech Republic.
Rockhampton's Anne Reid competing in the Czech Republic.

“I was incredibly unfit and uncoordinated when I first started karate but everyone kept saying keep trying and kept giving me a gentle push along.

“They were really encouraging and just made me feel included.

“The camaraderie is great and there’s a fantastic support network.”

Anne trains at Nihon Shotokan Karate Rockhampton Dojo and is quick to acknowledge sensei Peter Harth and sensei Jason Scriffignano for the significant contribution they have made to her career.

She said it was only when she had advanced to her brown belt that she considered taking the step into representative karate.

Her performances over the past two years and an impressive showing at the nationals earned her selection for the world championships.

Karate competitor Anne Reid with her son Walter.
Karate competitor Anne Reid with her son Walter.

“I was excited and a little bit surprised but also really nervous when I first got word of my selection,” she said.

“It was probably more like, ‘Uh-oh, what have I got myself into here’.

“Putting on the Australian team tracksuit for the first time made me realise it was really happening.”

Anne’s medal win has fuelled her desire to compete at the next world championships in Japan in 2022.

She will continue training and competing, her most recent success coming at the SKIA national championships in Yeppoon where she won the kumite and was second in the kata in the over-50 division.

She and Walter, 15, also went up another belt level at the grading held before the championships.

Anne is now a nidan, a second-level black belt, while Walter is a shodan, first-level black belt.

“Being able to do that with Walter was pretty special,” Anne said.

“I have to thank him for getting me started in karate.

“You just never know just where taking that first step will lead you.”