Butler County high school girl wins international gold medal in karate

Badin High School junior Kendyl Roberts recently added to her already impressive karate competition resume by bringing home a gold medal from an international event in Romania. The 17-year-old Roberts won top honors at the World Karate Championships in Romania. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
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Badin High School junior Kendyl Roberts recently added to her already impressive karate competition resume by bringing home a gold medal from an international event in Romania. The 17-year-old Roberts won top honors at the World Karate Championships in Romania. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

Badin student stands out performing karate styles at event in Romania.

In recent years the karate skills of a Badin High School student have seen her compete around America but junior Kendyl Roberts recently upped her game by bringing home a world championship title from her first international event.

The 17-year-old won top honors earlier this month in the World Karate Championships in Romania with a gold medal in Sai, which is a short sword weapons form of karate, according to Badin school officials.

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“It was one of the best times of my life,” said Roberts, whose family lives in Butler County’s Liberty Twp.

“The competition was hard,” she added after having competed in three events, adding a fourth place in Style Specifics Kata. “But it was extremely fun. I love competition – the adrenaline of the experience. And it was definitely something I can learn from.”

As a child, Roberts played soccer – but didn’t enjoy it. But watching a TV show about karate captured her imagination and soon she was getting her kicks from an entirely different activity.

“I wanted to try it out,” said Roberts. “When I went to the (karate) classes, I just loved it.”

Roberts, who is 4 feet 10 inches tall, no longer competes in the karate fighting competitions because of her size. But she is a standout performer when it comes to performing the karate styles, including wielding swords.

She works out four days a week for a minimum of two hours a day at Shito-Kai Ohio in West Chester Twp. and credits her sensei – karate instructor – Alex Dell for so much of her success.

“He’s a great coach and a great person,” Roberts said of Dell, who has trained her for eight years. “He’s very kind and understanding – he always makes sure to help me whenever I need him. I never would have made it as far as I have in karate without him.”

Roberts has earned more than two dozen gold medals over past regional and national competitions that have taken her all over the country – California, Florida, Georgia, Texas and more. But this trip to Cluj-Napoca, Romania, for the World Union of Karate-Do Federation event, was her first international competition.

“The whole U.S. team was there rooting for you when you would compete,” she noted. “We did some traveling out into the countryside. The whole experience was a lot of fun,” she said.

Dirk Allen, spokesman for Badin, said Roberts “has a black belt in karate, she has a lot of personality, and it’s no surprise that she is so successful.”

“This is not an activity that is related to Badin High School, but we’re proud to have her as a member of the Badin family who represents our country in such an outstanding fashion,” said Allen.

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