Karate club member Niamh selected for England squad

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A member of Ashington Shotokan Karate Club has been called up to the England squad.

It is the second time 15-year-old Niamh Duddridge has been selected to represent her countr, this time at the World Shotokan Championships to be held in Poland on October 3 and 4 and which will be broadcast live on Eurosport.

The 2nd Dan black belt’s excellent competition results and attitude to training this year have caught the eye of national squad coach Andy Sherry (9th Dan).

She has been selected for two disciplines of kata (set forms) and kumite (sparring)

Duddridge has trained with Sensei Jill Kelly (6th Dan) and Sensei Trish Bruce (5th Dan) for the past nine years at the Ashington club, which is held on Saturday mornings at the YMCA and during the week at the Josephine Butler Academy.

The training is supplemented by regular national squad sessions at the Red Triangle Club in Liverpool, plus Grand Slam competitions between the squads for Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well as all national competitions.

Sensei Kelly said: “Niamh has matured this year as a competitor mentally and physically.

“She has an excellent sporting attitude combined with fighting spirit. Club members will be watching the championships on the edge of their seats.”

Duddridge has gained a sponsor this year to help with costs, new karate suit, training gear, new bag, gumshield and fuel costs.

These have been generously donate by local businessmen Dave Lyall and Dave Alsop of Window-Tech – 0800 779 7174.

Mr Lyall said: “It has been a pleasure to be able to give back and help Niamh.

“As a local company we felt we had to do all we could to help this talented young person achieve her dreams and represent her country.

“Best of British, Niamh.”