Pollets Castle Hill have six world champions with seven world championships in ISKA World Cup

Big belt haul: Pollets Castle Hill's six world champions won seven world championships with Jeanette McCrea winning two. Picture: Isabella Lettini
Big belt haul: Pollets Castle Hill's six world champions won seven world championships with Jeanette McCrea winning two. Picture: Isabella Lettini

Pollets Martial Arts Centre in Castle Hill may not have been around for long but it has already developed a champion culture.

The club had six competitors claim seven world championships at the International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) World Cup event late last month.

Owner and head instructor of the Castle Hill school Grant Miller was thrilled by the result.

“It’s not that often that you get six world champions coming out of one gym, especially because the school has only been open for three years,” he said. 

“With the exception of the black belts, a lot of them have only competed for the first time this year, they’ve improved a lot because of competitions. 

“It’s good to see them get the results from the hard work they’ve put in.”

The Pollets school has centres across NSW and the Gold Coast and finished second overall at the world cup, which featured about 1200 competitors from 16 countries and more than 200 school.

Danielle Peters, 14, from Castle Hill was one of the world champions with a gold belt in Kata, or traditional forms, silver in sword combat and bronze in synchronised Kata.

“At first it was really nerve-wracking because I was training and then my sensei [Miller] told me that it was every three years that a World Cup happened,” she said. 

“I realised it was a big deal so it’s was really frightening to see people from other countries and all around Australia come around for it.

“It was really scary but it was also really exciting. It was a really big event and I came away with a belt.”

It’s been a whirlwind path to world cup success for Danielle, who has been doing the sport for less than two years.

She said the close-knit community within the gym played a big part in the club’s incredible success on the world stage.

“The community at Pollets is really welcoming and Grant, our sensei, is really encouraging and really wants to get the best out of us,” Danielle said. 

“He trains us hard but is also really compassionate as well. It’s really great because we all get to celebrate, encourage each other and do everything together.”

Jeanette McCrea, who won two world cup belts in the competition agreed about the atmosphere of the gym. 

“I think Grant and Jess [Miller] create an environment that is so supportive which allows people to have determination, drive and perseverance,” she said. 

“There is no fear of anyone putting you down and it’s quite open to allowing you to be the best you can be.”

Big team: Pollets Martial Arts Centre Castle Hill had 16 students compete and winning seven world championships at the International Sport Karate Association World Cup late last month. Picture: Isabella Lettini

Big team: Pollets Martial Arts Centre Castle Hill had 16 students compete and winning seven world championships at the International Sport Karate Association World Cup late last month. Picture: Isabella Lettini

2017 ISKA World Cup Medalists from Pollets Castle Hill

Jeanette McCrea

  • Traditional forms – Gold
  • Koshiki (full contact sparing) – Gold
  • Sumo – Bronze

Aleisha McCrea

  • Traditional forms – Silver
  • Sword Combat – Bronze

Danielle Peters

  • Traditional forms - Gold
  • Sword combat - Silver
  • Synchronised Kata - Bronze

Dayna Gray

  • Traditional forms - Gold
  • Sword combat - Bronze
  • Synchronised Kata - Bronze 

Kenna Burrows

  • Traditional forms - Gold
  • Synchronised kata - Bronze

Nicole Burrows

  • Traditional forms - Gold
  • Synchronised kata - Bronze

Ben Ruefli

  • Point sparring - Bronze 

Geoff McGowan

  • Jiu jitsu - Silver
  • No Gi jiu jitsu - Silver

Josh Townsend 

  • Jiu jitsu - Gold

Jason Pensini

  • Light kick - Bronze