Lack of karate funding from government is branded “shocking” by Carluke dad

Emma Ruthven is an outstanding young karate talent
Emma Ruthven is an outstanding young karate talent

An irate Carluke dad thinks it is disgraceful that karate stalwarts like his daughter receive no government funding to compete abroad.

Drew Ruthven is upset that Emma (15) and thousands of other British karate exponents miss out on state cash while rival sports like judo and taekwon-do can have it thrown at them.

“I think the lack of government funding which karate gets is shocking,” said Drew, of Goremire Road.

“The travel and accommodation costs which we’ve shelled out on Emma competing at several foreign events over the years runs into tens of thousands of pounds.

“Yet there has been no funding from sportscotland or UK Sport, which is a really sad state of affairs.”

The next foreign karate assignment for Carluke High School pupil Emma is a big one.

For she will be representing Scotland in the uder-16 cadet class at the World Championships in Tenerife from October 25 to 29.

“This trip is costing us £1100,” Drew said. “We have received no funding whatsoever and have even had to pay for our own saltire.

“The elite of the elite will be competing at these championships.

“There will be 40 competitors in Emma’s category and it would be a great achievement if she could reach the last eight by winning three rounds.

“There is a possibility that Emma will have to stop competing after these world championships, such are the high costs involved of taking her to events like this.”

Drew stressed that South Lanarkshire Council does provide £250 to elite karate athletes, but that was “a drop in the ocean” as it only paid for one or two flights.

Emma, the current Scottish Female Cadets under-16 champion, trains six times a week which involves a 60-mile round trip to Shitokai Karate Club in Renfrew.

Other foreign venues she’s going to later this year include Germany, Poland and Italy.

To sponsor her, email Drew at andrewruthven@btinternet.com