FIGHTING on the mat rather than over Easter eggs occupied the minds of some sporty Benarty youngsters during the spring break.

While they had chocolate treats to look forward to at the end of their school holidays, eight members of Benarty Primary School Karate Club were still able to kick up a storm during a two-day camp to hone their skills.

The club, which runs after school for pupils each Monday, has been running for three years and is led by teacher and Sensei Andrew McNeil, who began a satellite programme from Fife Shotokan Karate Club at the school.

It has proven to be a huge hit with Benarty kids, with numbers hitting around 25, and Andrew felt that the two-day Easter camp on April 6-7, which was free for those taking part, was a big success.

In January, the club received a boost when the Benarty Community Fund provided a grant for them to buy new kumite mitts and Andrew said:

“The Easter camp gave them some extra teaching time, a bit of fun and to work on patterns, and different punching and kicking routines.

"It was a small group of eight - we were a wee bit down on numbers this year – but I think that the kids who came along got a lot out of it, especially as they have gradings in May.

"There was no charge for the camp which I think was a big thing too.

“It’s an off-shoot of Fife Shotokan Karate Club and I take karate once a week; it is run as an after-school club.

"The kids don’t pay for lessons and so they got four hours of free tuition over the two days. That’s important because often these days costs can be significant.

“We’ve been going for three years and we have around 25-26 who come along. That is surprising; I expected the numbers to level off but they have kept up.

“They are all pupils at the school and we encourage them to train. It’s good to give something back, and the children are enjoying their training.”