Tickton’s very own karate kid Amy White had a double reason for celebrating last weekend when she became the UK Open International Champion, and also secured sponsorship from the Neil Hudgell Solicitors Trust.
Amy, 10, breezed through several qualifying rounds before eventually winning the final of the girls UK championships (aged 10 to 13 years), held at the Ellowes Hall Sports complex in Dudley, West Midlands.
Amy competes in kata competitions, which are ancient forms of karate, using detailed choreographed patterns of movements and techniques to demonstrate the art of self defence.
Despite only taking up the sport three years ago, Amy has already enjoyed great success, winning medals in numerous local, national, and international competitions.
Her latest victory ranks as one of her biggest achievements so far, and came with the added good news of her first individual sponsorship, from the Neil Hudgell Solicitor’s Trust, which awards grants of up to £2,500 to good causes across Yorkshire.
Amy’s success so far has been funded solely by her family, travelling to training in Barnsley two or three times a week, and also to Essex and Manchester on a regular basis to ensure she remains at the top of her game.
She has already been earmarked for selection by the England coach, and hopes to be invited to join a new England junior set-up for those aged 10-13.
“This junior squad will be for just a few of the very best kids in England, and the coach thinks I am good enough to join it,” said Amy.
“There will be no more than 10 people allowed to join this elite group, and then when I am old enough at 14, I will hopefully be able to join the proper England squad and compete for my country.”
Although The Trust normally offers financial support to small groups and organisations making a positive difference in their communities, Amy’s individual talent caught the eye of Neil and Jo Hudgell, who thought she deserved extra support as she seeks to win international honours.
“Amy has reached the final in every international competition she has entered, and is currently the UK Open International Champion, the Swiss Open Champion, and silver medallist in Sweden, Holland and Poland,” said her proud father Les.
“We’re away almost every other weekend at a competition either somewhere in the UK or abroad, and it does become very expensive. Because karate isn’t in the Olympics, it doesn’t qualify for many of the funds which are available to other similar sports. We try to do as much as we can for her as karate is her true passion.
“We’re delighted that the Neil Hudgell Solicitors Trust has agreed to contribute towards her costs. It’s nice that her achievements and potential have been recognised by a great local company who do so much for sport in our area.
“We are all really chuffed and Amy will now proudly wear the Neil Hudgell logo on her training tracksuits and equipment wherever she travels.”
Jo Hudgell, chair of the Trust, said: “It is clear that Amy is a determined and talented girl who has the potential to go a long way in the sport with the continued support of her family and others.
“Due to the funding restraints around the sport, she is having to rely solely on her family to support her financially at present, and they do a superb job.
“Given she does so much travelling each year for training and competitions, it can be quite a substantial sum of money, and as her passion and determination is so clear to see, we were delighted to offer our support and we wish Amy all the best for the future.
”We are sure we’ll be hearing about many more successes for her, both at home and abroad.”