Maya earns silver medal for England at European championship

May Burns, centre, with her club instructors John Bruce and Holly Sterling.
May Burns, centre, with her club instructors John Bruce and Holly Sterling.

An Ashington karate star competed for England at the European Shotokan Karate-Do Association Championships and won a silver medal in the Cadet Female Team Kumite (fighting) category.

Maya Burns, 16, has trained hard all year with her club, Sendai Kushiro, the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) England squad and has been outstanding in the build-up to earn her selection for both the World and European Championships.

Along with karateka representing more than 20 European countries, she travelled to Crawley two months ago to meet up with her England team-mates to complete the final preparations.

The competition included a number of current world champions and ran over two days and lived up to expectations with top-class competitors producing karate performances of the highest standard.

Burns was in action both days representing England in the team kumite (fighting).

On the Saturday she stepped up to youth (18 to 20-year-olds), and Sunday cadet (16 to 17) and her own individual Kumite events.

Together with Emily Hughes, Liverpool, and Teah Pope, Chelmsforth, they reached the semi-finals where they took on Poland.

After three hard fought rounds they beat their opponents, sending the home crowd wild with joy.

In the final against Switzerland, unfortunately team-mate Hughes had to withdraw due to injury, and Burns and team-mate Pope were narrowly beaten but earned a well deserved European silver.

Her club instructors, John Bruce and Holly Sterling, both former World and European champions, were also there competing and coaching.

They said: “Maya’s performance on both days was fantastic and it’s a great end to an outstanding year for her.”

Her family and dad, Keith Burn, also a 5th Dan black belt, said: “I am very proud of Maya, she has had a brilliant year in 2015, winning and getting placed in numerous competitions.

“Her commitment to training for her club and country shone through at the championships.

“Her performance was outstanding and contributed to KUGB England topping the European medals table.”

For more information about the club, call Keith Burns on 07800 992119 or visit their website at