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Sinéad Rooney

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Ms. Sinead Rooney began her Martial Arts career in February 1998 at the age of eleven. Ms. Rooney, along with her younger brother, joined the Irish School of Irish Kenpo Karate (ISKK) in Firhouse Community Centre. She trained and graded with her brother for a while, but when he left she continued her training, and graded on her own for the first time for her purple belt. As her interest in Kenpo grew, she gave up other activities such as dancing, drama, basketball and hockey.

Ms. Rooney competed at junior level in numerous national and inter-club competitions, winning many trophies in various categories. Ms. Rooney’s first international competition was in Dublin 2001 where she won bronze medals for both Kata and Sparring. Subsequently, she has competed at the IKC World Championships in Boston, Utrecht, and Jersey, ranking in Kata, Sparring, and Creative Form sections.

In 2004 she graded successfully for her Senior Brown Belt and became an instructor in the ISKK. Over the following years, she continued teaching in both the junior and senior classes. She also gave many students, junior and senior, additional instruction, often teaching them in their houses to prepare them for upcoming gradings.

In addition to teaching in the ISKK she received supplemental training in Loreto College Kenpo, where she eventually became a full-time member. In October 2007 she successfully graded for her 1st degree black belt, by the AKI Senior Council- President Tony Cogliandro, President of the Board of Directors Don Rodrigues, European Senior Council Directors Maurice Mahon, Shay Paget and Barney Coleman. The panel of examiners present at the grade were Mr Barney Coleman, Mr Alan Corrigan, Ms Freda Roberts, Mr John Reddin, Mr Daryl Murray, Mr Jonathan Tully, Mr John Bradley, Mr Paul Lynch, Mr Finn Ryan and Mr Paul McGovern.

Ms. Rooney’s best Kenpo memory has been competing as a black belt for the first time, at the IKC World Championships in 2008, where she won 2nd place for individual Kata, alongside fellow Loreto College black belts Mr Jonathan Tully (1st place) and Mr Garbhan Dillon (3rd place). Also, Ms. Rooney recently competed in the Irish Cup in June 2009, and won 1st place for individual Kata and 2nd place in Sparring.

Ms. Rooney has also participated in many seminars in Ireland and Europe, with well-known Kenpoists such as 8th degree black belt Ms. Dian Tanaka, 8th degree black belt Mr. Paul Dye, 10th degree Grand Master Maurice Mahon and 10th degree Grand Master Tommy Jordan.

Aside from Kenpo Karate, Ms. Rooney will finish her Psychology degree in Trinity College Dublin in 2010 and enjoys learning Japanese, Tango and Salsa.

Ms. Rooney would like to thank Mr. John Reddin, Mr. Finn Ryan and Mr. Paul McGovern, and to her Loreto College Instructors Mr. Alan Corrigan, Ms. Freda Roberts and Mr. Dermot O’Reilly for their continued guidance and valued commitment.