A local karate girl is building on recent successes after being selected for the KUGB (Karate Union of Great Britain) England team for the fourth year running.
Maya Burns travelled to Liverpool for the two-day squad selection and was successful on both days.
And recently she added another medal to her collection when she travelled to Chalkida in Greece to compete for the England Karate team at the 31st European Shotokan Karate-Do Association Championships, winning a bronze in the junior female team kumite (fighting) category.
The 17-year-old had trained extremely hard all year with her club Sendai Kushiro and the England squad, and had been outstanding in the build-up to earn her selection for the championships.
Along with Karateka representing more than 20 European countries, she travelled to Greece with her England teammates to complete the final preparations.
The competition included a number of current world champions and ran over three days and lived up to expectations with top-class competitors producing performances of the highest standard.
Maya was in action on the second day where she stepped up to the youths (18 to 20-years-old) representing England in the team kumite (fighting) and individual kumite events.
Together with Beth Nicholson (Sunderland) and Emily Hughes (Liverpool) they beat favourites Switzerland along the way to the semi-final, where they took on Hungary. But after three hard fought rounds they were beaten and had to settle for third place.
Maya also competed in the individual event, fighting through four rounds and ending up ninth out of 44 competitors, which was a great achievement as she fought in the older category.
Her club instructors, John Bruce and Holly Sterling, both former world and European champions, were also there competing and coaching, and said: “Maya’s performance on the day was fantastic and it’s a great end to an outstanding year for her.”
Her dad Keith Burns (5th Dan Black Belt) said: “I am very proud of Maya, she had a brilliant year in 2016, 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.”
It was a double celebration for the KUGB England who won both the prestigious senior men’s team kumite and female team kumite.
Together with all other results England finished fourth in the medals table.
For more information about the club, contact Keith Burns on 07800 992119 or visit www.kaizenkarateclub.com