Fund helps to kick start Maya’s aims

A Northumberland student has been given a kick start towards the next stage of her sporting career thanks to a financial donation.

Maya Burns, a Year 11 student at Ashington High School, has been awarded £200 from the John Talbot Sports Development Awards scheme to help with her training fees and travelling costs when attending the regional and national junior karate competitions throughout the UK.

Maya, who is coached by dad Keith, became involved with karate in 2007 when she was just nine.

She gained a first Dan black belt in 2011 and achieved a second Dan black belt in 2012.

And in January this year she was selected for the KUGB, England’s National Kumite squad, for the second year running.

The funding scheme was developed by Ashington Leisure Partnership and is supported by Active Northumberland, the county’s leisure trust.

The funding came from a legacy in 2007 from John Talbot, a friend of Ashington Leisure Centre who wanted the money to be used for the benefit of the people who live in the town as recognition of the companionship and hospitality he enjoyed.

Coun Val Tyler, the county council’s policy board member for community infrastructure and culture, said: “I am delighted this grant has been used to recognise Maya’s sporting prowess and the support of her dad.

“Having facilities that are fit for purpose is absolutely vital to providing excellent activities and classes.”

“This helps people across the county to be active, discover new ways of keeping fit, and do the things they love.”

The trustees of Ashington Leisure Partnership are responsible for the funds and are offering a small sports development grants to clubs in Ashington of up to £500 and would welcome further applications to the fund.

For further information and to make an online application, visit the Ashington Leisure Partnership website on